Book Review: Between Us by Mhairi McFarlane

I have previously confessed my love for Mhairi McFarlane books – and as soon as one is available on NetGalley the rest of my TBR pile is dumped temporarily!

“When Joe and Roisin join their group of friends for a weekend away, it’s a triple celebration – a birthday, an engagement and the launch of Joe’s new crime drama on TV.
But when Roisin sees secrets she shared with Joe play out on the TV screen, she knows that between us means nothing at all.
Roisin finds herself searching for clues to the truth – about her life, their history, and the man she thought she loved. And it’s then that Roisin finds the most unexpected plot twist of them all. Among those same old friends, there’s a surprising potential for new beginnings . . .”

The book starts when Roisin (can I just say I like the fact the main character had a tricky name to say – just like Mhairi!!) was a small girl and an outing with her Mum and her Mum’s friends – whilst you know it’s going to be relevant later on – it’s not immediately evident why.

Then we’re back to the present day when Roisin and her boyfriend Joe meet up with a group of friends whom they worked with in a bookshop historically – AKA the Brian club (it’s explained in the book so don’t be confused!) for a weekend away in a fancy house in the countryside. I did wonder if this was going to be Mhairi’s first foray into an Agatha Christie style murder mystery who-dunnit – but do not fear, it’s not! They are congregating for various celebrations – and it’s also the first showing of Joe’s new TV show which they’re all going to watch together. As they’re watching it – it becomes evident that things Roisin had told Joe in confidence ‘between us’ – had been used as part of the storyline in the series – and not only is Roisin gutted by this, she also begins to wonder what else of the storyline is based on the truth – when she can spot Joe and other friends as different characters.

The book then follows the disintegration of Roisin and Joe’s relationship – along with the whole friendship group ripping apart at the seams.

I have to say I did then guess some of Roisin’s ‘plot twist’ – but I was not disappointed by this at all (it just cements the fact that I think Mhairi and I would get on brilliantly if we met in real life #weirdstalkervibesnotintentional!) and I’m not going to spill any beans here.

Whilst a lot of the book is the story of Roisin, Joe and their friends – I also really enjoyed the relationship between Roisin and her Mum – and also the scenes of Roisin in her day job as an English teacher. With a large number of teenagers in my house (my kids, not some strange hostage situation) – I did think the students interactions with her were brilliantly written!

As you’d expect from a Mhairi McFarlane book it’s cleverly written, laugh out loud funny, has current reference points and you can’t wait to read on (and will miss the characters now it’s finished!) Another fantastic book.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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