Book review: Take Me In by Sabine Durrant

Friday, June 29, 2018 Permalink

I’m a huge fan of Sabine Durrant, who I discovered in 2014 via Under Your Skin (which in my opinion rendered the much-lauded Gone Girl, rather anticlimactic).

I think she’s highly underrated and produces consistently complex (but not complicated or confusing) reading fodder and is most definitely one of my go-to authors.

Book review: Take Me In by Sabine DurrantTake Me In
by Sabine Durrant
Published by Mulholland Books
on June 28th 2018
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 147360835X, 9781473608351, 9781473608368
Pages: 352

He saved your son's life.Does that mean you have to give him yours?

It starts with a holiday.

A three-year-old boy on a beach,and the hero who saves his life.

But nothing is ever that simple.

Tessa and Marcus know they owe Dave Jepsom more than they can ever repay.

Yet even as he is walking from the sea with their son in his arms, there is something about him that makes them uneasy.

He is not like other people that they know.Being with him makes them confront truths about themselves they would rather not see.

The shock of that moment will change everything.

And it's not how things start that matter.But how they end . . .

Take Me In unfolds via alternating chapters by Marcus and Tessa. It’s interesting to be in their heads as Durrant often repeats the same scene from both points of view. It’s also a reminder how wrapped up in our own lives we are that we make so many assumptions about how others perceive us or what they are thinking, when really – like us – they’re engrossed in their own stories.

I didn’t get a good sense of Marcus and Tessa as a couple as by the time we meet them their relationship is tenuous. They’re on holidays but neither feels particularly enthused about it… only making the effort so their son has the upbringing neither of them enjoyed. Both narrators reflect on their own childhoods (Tessa with a promiscuous and alcoholic mother; Marcus with a bullying father) and how they want things to be different for their own son.

Dave Jepsom is not particularly likeable. He’s prickly and lacking social graces. Marcus feels a sense of obligation – not to mention guilt and admonishment so finds himself over-compensating. Tessa however, though initially grateful, is reticent to engage further with the main who makes her feel uncomfortable.

She’s got her own problems though and is distracted by her secret life. It’s one she wants over and done with but she keeps going back nonetheless, unfulfilled in the rest of her life.

And Marcus, who lives for his work (my v.old undergrad psych degree suggests he’s attempting to prove his worth though his once-judgemental father’s long past caring!) finds himself putting out fire after fire – almost as if someone is purposely sabotaging his work life and business. *Insert Law & Order SVU da-dum sound here*

Things reach a climax – as these things always do. Secrets are revealed and carefully-crafted lives come crashing down. Perhaps it’s for the best, we think…. But no, we’d be wrong.

I had guessed the twist here but did not see the end coming; though were some signs and “their” behaviour had been disintegrating for a while, I’m not entirely sure it was the end I wanted as I felt a smidge dissatisfied, but we don’t always get what we want. Apparently!

Having said that, this is another great read from Durrant; its strength being its challenging and complex characters. Yet again this would be ideal for bookclubs as it will generate lots of discussion.

Take Me In by Sabine Durrant was published in Australia by Hachette and now available.

I received a copy of this book from the publishers for review purposes.


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