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Little Friends

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,267 ratings  ·  185 reviews
Their children are friends first. They hit it off immediately, as kids do. And so the parents are forced to get to know each other. Three wildly different couples. Three marriages, floundering.

There are barbecues, dinner parties, a holiday in Greece. An affair begins, resentments flare, and despite it all the three women become closer.

Unnoticed their children run wild. The
...more
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Published February 20th 2020 by Penguin
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Jane Shemilt Yes, they are. The Playground was published in the US on Dec. 30th 2019 and Little Friends will be published in UK Feb 20th 2020. They have different …moreYes, they are. The Playground was published in the US on Dec. 30th 2019 and Little Friends will be published in UK Feb 20th 2020. They have different titles and different covers but the book is exactly the same.(less)
Sheri
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,267 ratings  ·  185 reviews


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Ceecee
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is what I would describe as an ‘iceberg’ novel as so much is hidden beneath an apparently smooth surface. Eve Kershaw's daughter Poppy is dyslexic and so she takes a qualification so she can help her and other children. She offers classes at her large home and gains some students including Izzy and Blake and this leads to an unlikely friendship between three disparate couples. Each of the couples is hiding something, part of their lives is an illusion, some of which are dangerous and they a ...more
Sue
I love a good, well written, well developed domestic noir. And I got this from Jane Shemilt.

I was hooked completely from the start and didn’t want to leave this book alone, so guess what? I borrowed it from my library on audio and took it with me.....everywhere. Loading the washing machine, ironing, cooking, driving......

Then I’d follow it on my book as the narrator read it when I got the chance to sit.

Three families.
All different in many ways.

This story was intense in places and made me react
...more
Amanda
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
An enthralling story about a group of parents that become friends when Eve starts tutoring some of their children who may be dyslexic. They soon start to socialise and the children become friends enjoying playing out together in the garden, they all go away together to Eve’s villa in Greece.

When a tragedy occurs it affects all of the 3 families and we soon realise that what goes on behind their closed doors, does not match with the image they portray on the outside.

The main characters are Eve,
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Louise Wilson
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
IEve tutors children with dyslexia. The kids and their parents soon become friends. And soon, Eve and her husband start socializing with the families. The children were often allowed to play without supervision. Eve had invited them all to Greece to celebrate her birthday. This is where a tragedy took place that left the group reeling.

I was hooked from the first page. It covers: domestic abuse, racism and bereavement. There is a lot of characters but the author made them all feel realistic. You
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Shalini
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
OMG! OMG! OMG! Jane Shemilt is a master puppeteer. She pulled me so cunningly into this book that I never understood when I was snared. My breath hitched, my pulse raced, there was a weird energy in me. The only words my brain screamed out was - TELL ME THE FREAKING TRUTH. What happened to the kids?

Eve wanted to help kids with dyslexia. Kids of 2 families came to her for tutoring. Soon they became friends. Everyone was happy, or so they appeared to be. The children were supposedly great friends,
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Emma Garland
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
When Eve Kershaw advertises as a tutor for children with dyslexia, two other couples sign up. The children quickly become friends, seemingly inseparable. The adults are thrown together and unlikely friendships are formed.

But the waters are troubled in each relationship. Abuse, adultery and financial strain cause stress and resentment. With the adults so wrapped up in their own problems, the children are free to roam outdoors alone. After a heavy party that saw most adults drinking, they wake to
...more
Christina McDonald
Marital affairs, shocking violence, bullying children - it does sound a little like Big Little Lies, although I didn't really find it was like that at all. While the writing and setting is vivid, the characters are pretty self-absorbed. The story is about three couples who are so self-involved they forget to look after their children, with tragic consequences.

Initially I found it quite confusing, as there were multiple perspectives and a whole lot of characters, however, the beautiful, atmospher
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Claire
Mar 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I have read previous books by Jane Shemilt and knew that I would live her writing once again.

This psychological page-turner of a thriller was well written, brilliantly plotted and wonderfully dark.

Whilst following three families who become a close knit circle due to their children's friendships we follow them throughout the peaks and troughs of their lives and their friendships. Hidden secrets soon become known when tragedy strikes.

The concept of the story was original, the pace was good, if a l
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Louie Jordan
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it
There was a few weeks at the beginning of July where I tried my very best to get into this and it just wasn’t happening. After a month of trying to finish it I finally have and I have mixed emotions. I’m going to give a few points as I’m trying not to spoil it for future readers.

The story has so many characters, too many if I’m honest. I kept getting lost on who was who for the first 300 pages.

I guessed the plot almost immediately - I do feel any books that focus on children within the thriller
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Rebecca
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Little Friends by Jane Shemilt is a brilliantly-executed, turbulent novel, one which turned out to be much darker and more emotionally fierce than I had originally anticipated. I haven't read many of Shemilt's novels before, but this has solidified her as an author who I'll definitely be returning to. Incredibly addictive yet distressing at times, this is a fascinating novel which focuses on the children of a group of adults, who perhaps are not being watched as closely as they should be. With a ...more
Sheri
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Earth mother Eve, starved as a child of both freedom and affection, is determined to lavish her children with both, encouraging them to run wild in the extensive grounds of their home. It's like Fairyland, as described by one visitor - but we all know how dark some fairytales can be.

Grace, missing her native Zimbabwe, struggling financially and finding her living environment often hostile, finds her writing ambitions have been subsumed into those of her husband while Grace works long hours to su
...more
Ines (Bookstaroom)
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-list-2021
I was really close to DNF this book after 150 pages. I'm glad I didn't. The story is really slow paced at the beginning. We get introduced to the characters and their lives and nothing really interesting happens.
But then comes the twist. And another one. And another one.
...more
Cherlynn (cherreading)
Overall, this book was a disappointment. The first half was slow. There were many characters (both adults and children) and while I had no problem telling them apart and remembering how they were related, I never did connect or relate to anyone nor did I care much for them. The story picked up in the second half but basically this is a very typical domestic thriller that goes exactly the way you expect it to, with elements/plot devices you find in pretty much every domestic thriller.

The whodunit
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Joanna Park
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’m a huge fan of this author’s books so was very excited to be invited onto the blog tour for her latest book. I was definitely not disappointed as this was another gripping and unsettling read which was very difficult to put down.

Firstly I love books set around old friendship groups as you never quite know what secrets are going to be reveal and where the story will go. This story was no exception and I enjoyed getting to know the three couples better. I definitely wasn’t expecting the story t
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Clare
With thanks to Netgalley and Penguin for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.

Little friends was a deeply disturbing story about three families who met when their children began attending private tuition lessons.

Eve was married to Eric and they had three children, Poppy, Sorrell and baby Noah. Poppy was struggling with dyslexia so Eve decided to provide extra help during the summer holiday. Also on the course was Izzy and her parents Melissa and Paul. Grace, her husband Martin and
...more
Tasha
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow this book is something else! Starting off as a slow burning story about 3 friends, Eve, Melissa and Grace, I really didn't know what to expect from it. But this book was a wild ride and it became a lot more dark and twisted than I ever could have imagined.


The story starts with Eve holding extra classes for her children and a few other local children. The kids quickly become friends, Izzy the eldest becoming the ring leader of the group. The 3 sets of parents soon bond too, finding themselves
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Melanie’s reads
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book starts by introducing us to Eve who has taken a course to help her daughter Poppy who may be dyslexic. Eve inherited her large house with sprawling garden after her parents died and wants her children to have the freedom she didn’t growing up. Her mother too busy with friends and parties she was controlled by a strict nanny. Starting a small class in her home, Eve and husband Eric become friends with the other children’s parents. Melissa and Paul and Grace and Martin.

Melissa an interio
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Jodie (jodie.loves.books)
This is the first book I’ve read by Jane Shemilt and I’ll definitely be picking up more from her! This was a well plotted, dark psychological thriller and a real page turner.

In Little Friends, we follow three families joined together by the friendships of their children. The reader follows them through the ups and downs of their lives and their relationships. Both the group of adults and the group of children are keeping dark secrets hidden but all of this surfaces when tragedy strikes...

Overall
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Zoe Radley
Jun 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
Oh good god this is awful terrible and just downright idiotic. None of the characters work or make any sense I don’t like any of them. The writing style is appalling and the grammar errors are atrocious. It’s all just boring cliches. Sorry not for me and if the rest of her books are the same...no thanks.
Yvonne Janot
Gave up halfway through. Life is too short to stick with bad books.
Kelly
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
I guessed right from the beginning. Written nicely, I couldn’t put it down. I had to know who did what. Would have liked it to have been wrong, because it’s to easy a guess.
Vikki Patis
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly absorbing, Little Friends is a uniquely gripping story of three families being thrown together, and staying together once tragedy strikes. Each of the adult women are strong, striking characters, though flawed in their own way. Grace stood out to me in particular, her constant, quiet strength through the trauma and difficulties she endured. Though there is much more to this book, it is ultimately the story of three women and their children, and the ways they struggled to continue against t ...more
Emma Shaw
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
"I used to think truth was a simple thing. That there could only be one truth, single and essential - like light, say, or water. Now I know it comes in layers, some more transparent than others. If you look carefully - and we didn't - you can see through the top layer to the darkness beneath..."

The lives of three families entwine with devastating consequences in this readable novel.

When Eve begins private tuition for children with dyslexia, Melissa and Grace sign their children up. Over the cour
...more
Megan Jones
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Their children are friends first. They hit it off immediately, as kids do. And so the parents are forced to get to know each other. Three wildly different couples. Three marriages, floundering. There are barbecues, dinner parties, a holiday in Greece. An affair begins, resentments flare, and despite it all the three women become closer. Unnoticed their children run wild. The couples are so busy watching each other that they forget to watch their children. Until tragedy strikes. Because while the ...more
Grace J Reviewerlady
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I can honestly say I've never read another book like this one - it's the perfect mixture of warm and friendly on the surface while evil lurks below . . .

Three families, all from very different walks of like get to know each other through their children and friendships are struck; as they begin to spend more and more time together they focus more on each other and less on the children. Recipe for disaster? What do you think?

I warmed to this novel very quickly; I can only imagine that a lot of wor
...more
Honestmamreader
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow, that is my main thoughts on this book. Wow and wow. That's was one hell of a ride!!

As I started to read Little Friends I had a vision in my head that it was going to be a family saga, a few secrets here and there. But, what I got was so much more than that. And, it was so dark and eerie.

We focus on three families, all different in their ways. And, all the parents have a different outlook on raising children. Nothing unusual there as that's how the world is. Due to fact we get told this
...more
b e a c h g o t h
Holy holy holy shit. I could NOT put this book down - the suspense is literally every-cell-in-your-body-tingling.
It’s almost uncomfortable to read, it’s that good.
Farrrrrrrrrr out. I actually cant believe it’s over.
I want a sequel with Izzy grown up! She’s such a fascinating character. Disturbing asf, but fascinating.
Please, never ever ever stop writing Jane.
New fav psychological thriller author.
Emma Curtis
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a brilliant thriller this is. It's a family drama, which I love, with the children playing as important a part as their parents. Three couples become so entangled with each other, that they neglect what's going on between their children, with devastating consequences. It is edge-of-your-seat thrilling. ...more
Noha Nasrat
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is everything I expected it to be. It is a very clever psychological thriller that discusses many complex themes such as learning difficulties, parenting issues, bullying, marital problems, racism, friendship issues. These all come together to weave a very dark and twisted story with a chilling ending. I highly recommend this book.
Jade Weston
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book seemed very slow to start but then i loved the fact it just sucked me in and i had to read on.
I did predict how the ending would go but there were still lots of surprises that made the book a great ending.
I love how quickly the three families became so close and i particularly loved the story of Grace.
Thanks again for another great read!
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Jane is a general practitioner who completed a post graduate diploma in Creative Writing at Bristol university and went on to study for a M.A in Creative writing at Bath Spa. She was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbitt award and the Lucy Cavendish fiction prize for Daughter, her first novel.

She and her husband, a Professor of Neurosurgery, have 5 children and live in Bristol, England.

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