I’m thrilled to welcome you today to my stop on the (informal) blog tour for the unexpectedly dark and surprising A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon. Thank you to Anne Cater and Harper Collins for giving me the opportunity to read and review this brilliant book.
About the book:
A NICE, NORMAL HOUSE
Linda has lived around here ever since she fled the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is – pushing the Hoover round and cooking fish fingers for tea is a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy catalogues coming through the door for the house’s previous occupant.
A NICE, NORMAL HUSBAND
Terry isn’t perfect – he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house and spends most of his time in front of the TV. But that seems fairly standard – until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women start to go missing in the neighbourhood.
A NICE, NORMAL LIFE…
If Linda could just track down Rebecca, who lived in the house before them, maybe some of that perfection would rub off on her. But the grass isn’t always greener: you can’t change who you really are, and there’s something nasty lurking behind the net curtains on Cavendish Avenue…
About the author:
Joanna Cannon graduated from Leicester Medical School and worked as a hospital doctor, before specialising in psychiatry. Her novels, The Trouble With Goats and Sheep and Three Things About Elsie, were both Sunday Times bestsellers and Richard and Judy picks. Her new novel, A Tidy Ending, was published in April 2022. She lives in the Peak District with her dog,
A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon is an unexpected joy of a read that I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end. With a thread of black humour running throughout, the story appears to be a gentle one on the surface but in reality has the ability to shock and surprise when you’re least expecting it. And I loved every word of it!
Meet nice, normal, nondescript Linda. Married to nice, normal husband Terry and living a nice, normal life, Linda can’t help but wonder if this is all life has to offer. So when the glossy catalogues addressed to the previous occupant of her new home arrive Linda imagines a different, more glamorous lifestyle for herself. A life away from the mundane housework, boring husband and charity shop work that has become her daily routine.
But then young women begin to go missing, just at the same time as Linda’s husband Terry begins to keep odd hours at work. With the local community living in fear and the rumour mill going into overdrive, what exactly is happening behind the net curtains of Cavendish Avenue? And will Linda finally be able to escape the confines of her ordinary life at last?
Beautifully written by Joanna Cannon, A Tidy Ending is very much a character driven story, told from the point of view of Linda in two timelines, the majority of which takes place in the recent past, interwoven with short interludes inside a mental health facility in the here and now.
I don’t want to say too much more as to do so would risk spoiling what is a darkly humorous, slightly claustrophobic and often surprising read that left me reeling as I reached the final, shocking conclusion.
Joanna Cannon is a gifted storyteller and Linda is a character unlike any other I have ever come across before. As the threads of the story begin to come together, you find yourself wanting to go back to the beginning to see if there’s anything you might have missed.
A Tidy Ending is a simply stunning read that I adored.
A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon is available to purchase now: