Search This Blog

The Playdate by Louise Millar

Monday, July 23, 2012
Single mother Callie has come to rely heavily on her best friend Suzy. But Callie suspects Suzy's life isn't as simple as it seems. It's time she pulled away - going back to work is just the first step towards rediscovering her old confidence. So why does she keep putting off telling Suzy about her new job?
Suzy and Callie live close to each other on a typical cramped, anonymous London street. Neighbours seem to move in, and move on, before you have even learned their names. Callie's increased sense of alienation leads her to try to befriend a new resident on her street, Debs. But Debs is anxious, odd. You wouldn't trust her with your child - especially not if you knew anything about her past.
A brilliant and chilling evocation of modern life, The Playdate is a real talking-point book for mothers everywhere.

Goodreads Summary

Callie and Suzy are your typical best friends.  They get along well and enjoy their company.  However, the two cannot be more opposite.  Callie has a young sickly daughter and no husband while Suzy has a husband and three healthy children.  Callie has spent much of her time caring for her daughter, but would also like to work more.  She has managed to get a new job, but is slightly afraid to tell Suzy.  Why would you be afraid to tell your best friend about your new job?  Callie tries to become friendly with Debs, the new woman on the block.  Debs is a teacher and seems to love kids, but she has more than a few secrets of her own.  With plenty of secrets and some sordid pasts, can the three women continue their linked friendships?

Callie is the character that the reader will most identify with and like.  She is very calm and kind through most of the book, though she has a few skeletons in her closet.  Debs is constantly jumpy and has trouble making friends.  Suzy constantly seems to be looking for anything to go wrong, she is a little "off."  The mystery makes up a large part of the plot, but the reader may find that the mystery feels like it begins almost mid-way through the book rather than right away.  Friendship seems like it should be a strong subject, but in this book the friendships are shaky and feel almost like a facade.  The reader will have to sift through the characters' pasts to figure out the key to the plot.  The author hasn't made it easy, this novel has a lot of smoke and mirrors hiding the obvious truths, but there are plenty of twists and surprises to keep the reader guessing.  As far as creating a realistic plot and set of characters, the author did a wonderful job.  The women could be our own neighbors, the plot is a little more sketchy, but fits once the reader knows the whole story.  This book is recommended to adults.

3 1/2 Stars

Find this book:
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. This is the first time I have heard of this book. And the blurb sounds absolutely intriguing!
    Why would you be afraid to tell your best friend about your new job? Im hooked!

  1. clenna said...:

    One of my fears is what about the strangers that become friends. You don't know their background, if there has been anything disturbing that has messed them up. This book sounds like it could be very frightening.

    Clenna at aol dot com

  1. I'm intrigued. Have done quite a bit of moving around because of my husband's job and am always nervous when it comes to making new friends in a new town. Sounds interesing

  1. Lili said...:

    Though I am clearly not an adult, I showed my mother this review because I know the type of books she likes and this seems right up her alley. Needless to say that I am now being told it's very polite to thank you for introducing a new book to her. Lol. It does sound interesting, even though a ya reader like myself is in no hurry to pick it up.

  1. @ Lili Tell your mom I hope she enjoys the book if she decides to pick it up :)

    Thanks for all the great comments, this was one interesting/somewhat scary novel

  1. Sophia said...:

    Thanks for introducing me to this book! I like how the author hides obvious truths. It makes plots much more exciting!

  1. Cyn said...:

    Hmm..interesting. Is this scary?

  1. Mona said...:

    Thanks for your review :)

    This sounds like my kind of book :
    . Female friendships -- enriching, yet complicated
    . Sordid and/or secret pasts
    . Twists and turns

    Because of my husband's job, we do move a lot and I often make friends with the parents of my daughter's playmates. Sometimes I can relate and sometimes not so much.

    I can somewhat understand Callie hesitating to tell Suzy about her new job. Maybe she feels like she is betraying her friend. Maybe they covet each other's life and feel the grass is greener. So not true and I speak from personal experience.