The Playdate – Clara Dillon

Two mothers. Two daughters. Two sides to the story.

When Sara leaves her high-flying London life to move to Dublin, her only concern is her nine-year-old daughter, Lexie. For Lexie’s sake she tries to get to know other mothers at the school gates, but they appear uninterested – particularly their leader, the beautiful and charismatic Vanessa, whose daughter rules the playground.

After a simple misunderstanding between Vanessa and Sara, none of the other kids at school want anything to do with Lexie. Desperate to mend fences, Sara offers to look after Vanessa’s daughter one afternoon. But when the playdate ends in catastrophe, Vanessa is convinced that what happened wasn’t an accident.

With allegations flying in all directions, Sara is forced to ask herself what she has unleashed? And how far a mother will go to protect her daughter?

Book Info: Print length: 359 pages. Publisher: Sandycove. Publication Date: 22 Feb 2024

My Thoughts:

Wowsers… The Playdate is a really great psychological thriller with a clever little twist on the narration as the book starts with our main character Sara telling her husband her side of story.

Set in Dublin, Sara, her husband Adam and their 9 year old daughter Lexie have relocated from London to Adam’s childhood town in Dublin. They’ve agreed to give it a year to see if Adam’s new company takes off and are renting a home near his parents. Adam’s work requires him to spend most of the week back in London so Sara and Lexie are basically starting from fresh, trying to fit in and make friends.

At Lexie’s new school, Sara tries to make friends with the other mothers but it appears the social ladder is controlled by Vanessa, mother of the most popular girl, Polly and head of the so-called “Beautiful Mums”, who seems to take an instant dislike to both Sara and Lexie. However, Sara’s not used to be ignored and is determined to break into their inner circle at whatever cost.

Running alongside this story is Zoe’s story, which at first confused me and I thought it was a completely different book, but stick with it as everything slowly begins to make sense.

This is a story of toxic mums, school gate dramas, and bullying on a completely new level. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to fans of psychological thrillers.

Rating: 4 out of 5.