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Those People by Louise Candlish - Review

Saturday, April 24, 2021

I've enjoyed Our House and The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish, and I've seen a bunch of people rave about Those People, so I really wanted to get to it. I'm trying to not buy any books though, so I looked on my local library site and saw it was available, so I put in a request for it. It arrived at my local library a couple of weeks later and Lee picked it up for me. It's so easy because it's already checked out to you - you just pick up the bag that's got your name on and go. Really simple! And I do like to support my local libraries because they're so important and because if we don't all use them, the Tories will shut them all down. 

So, like Candlish's other books, basically this one is full of terrible people and you want all of them to have terrible things happen to them. Most people in this book are posh and/or wealthy, and I like it when posh people don't succeed. Haha, sorry. I do love this kind of book.

All these people live on Lowlands Way, a street near Crystal Palace in London, and they are incredibly proud of that. At the bottom of the street are some lesser houses, but we don't have to care about them. At the top end are big Victorian villas, and people with a lot of money. But at the very top is two semi-deatched houses, built on the plot of a house bombed in the Blitz (although, why are they then numbers 1 and 3 if they only existed after WWII and all the other houses would have been previously numbered??? There's a plot hole!). Number 1 used to belong to an old lady named Jean, but she's died, and her nephew Darren has inherited the house. He moves in with his wife Jodie, and chaos starts to reign.

They are, no doubt, noisy neighbours. They do DIY at any time of the day, and they play loud metal music all night. They are also running a second hand car garage from the house, meaning they're taking up more than their fair share of parking spaces on the street. They make life hell for the house attached to them, which belongs to Ant and Em and their small baby, Sam. Sam can't sleep and Em is getting to the end of her tether. 

Everyone else in the street has problems with the newcomers too. Opposite, there's Sissy, who runs a bed and breakfast from her house, and who begins to get bad reviews because of the noise opposite. At numbers 5 and 7 there are brothers Finn and Ralph and their families. Finn is married to Tess, a stay at home mum, and she's desperate to move away from Finn's brother and wife, who she thinks have too much of an influence on Finn. The two families live next to each other and have a big shared garden. I'm not quite sure why this is relevant but they kept mentioning it. Tess gets delegated to by her sister in law a lot, and is often annoyed by her. 

Ralph and Naomi are kind of the A list couple on the street. Naomi runs some kind of thing like Mumsnet, and she's very posh and really annoying and thinks everyone is beneath her. Ralph (and Finn) came from working class origins but have managed to drag themselves up! Wow. And now Ralph owns a leather goods business in Bermondsey, and reckons he's the king of the world, to be honest. He's hotheaded and very irritating, and I so badly wanted him to get his comeuppance. 

The street is very proud of this thing they have called Play Out Sunday where they all move their cars off the street and close the road to traffic so that the children can play out in the street like in the olden days. Darren doesn't even KNOW about this initiative when everyone has a go at him for not moving his cards, but like fine, expect him to just know that this thing happen. (And also right, where did they all move their cars TO? Nearby streets, apparently - and how is that fair?! Or do only poor people live there, and therefore they don't matter????? Omg, this book)

Relationships between the residents and Darren and Jodie go very sour very fast. The police and council say they need documentation of what's happening, so Ant sets up a camera from his front window. But then tragedy occurs - as it was obviously going to - and everyone is a suspect. It's like Murder on the Orient Express, honestly. I wouldn't have been surprised if they had all been in on it. 

I really enjoyed Our House, and I liked The Other Passenger, but this book kind of annoyed me because everyone was just so snobby and snotty. I didn't get what Naomi's problem was, and it was never resolved. I didn't understand why almost anyone did what they did. I'm giving this three out of five. 

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