The Festival – Sarah J. Naughton


Orly, Lenny, Mel and Thea have been best friends since school. But now it is 20 years later and inevitably they have drifted apart.


It is Lenny’s 40th birthday, plus Orly and Mel need cheered up, so Thea suggests a weekend away at a festival in their hometown. It’s a chance for them all to reconnect.


But their holiday soon takes a sinister turn, and not all of the friends will leave the festival alive…

Sarah Naughton’s debut novel, The Hanged Man Rises, was shortlisted for the Costa children’s award. It was followed by a second young adult thriller, The Blood List. Her thrillers for adults, Tattletale and The Other Couple (Orion) are Amazon bestsellers. Sarah lives in London with her husband and sons.

My Review:

I read The Festival by Sarah J Naughton as part of my monthly online book club’s readalong with approximately 60 other members over a 3 week period.

The Festival is the story of four women now approaching their 40th birthdays who have been friends since school but their lives have all gone in very different directions.

Orly is a recent widow, grieving the death of her husband from Cancer and the loss of their hopes and dreams, Lenny is a successful business women raising her twins as a single mum and trying to balance her work and life, Mel is a struggling single mother of a teenage son who is about to leave for university and having severe “empty nest” concerns and Thea is the beautiful trophy partner of a rich older man who appears to be losing interest in her.

With Lenny’s 40th birthday fast approaching the ladies decide to get together for a weekend away and go to a Festival, held in their home town and escape their current situations by dancing and getting drunk and reliving their youth. However as this is a thriller you will expect things to go wrong and they certainly do in this book. Long kept secrets are uncovered, guilty consciences force the women to reveal the truth about their past and what should have been a weekend of fun and frolics turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse.

I really enjoyed the pace of the writing and getting to know each of the characters throughout the storyline. When the women find their lives in danger, there were several red herrings scattered throughout the book to ensure the reader is constantly kept on their toes and never quite knows who to trust.

I look forward to reading more from this author.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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