Book Review

Haven’t They Grown by Sophie Hannah | Book Review

Haven’t They Grown by Sophie Hannah
Release Date: 23rd January 2020
Genre: Adult, Thriller
Source: Publisher, NetGalley
Rating: ★★★

All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home.

Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn’t want to see her today, or ever again.

But she can’t resist. She parks outside the open gates of Newnham House, watches from across the road as Flora and her children Thomas and Emily step out of the car. Except… There’s something terribly wrong. Flora looks the same, only older. As Beth would have expected. It’s the children. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then.

They are still five and three. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt – Hilary hears Flora call them by their names – but they haven’t changed at all.

They are no taller, no older… Why haven’t they grown?

Haven’t They Grown was a very weird book with an intriguing premise. I finished it last night and I’m not really sure what to make of it. What initially drew me in was the mystery of how Flora’s children could still be the same age, when they should have aged at least ten years since the main character, Beth, had last seen them.

I had all sorts of theories running through my head, and I did manage to sus out what was happening (kind of) by the time the big reveal came, but honestly this book was all over the place. 

Beth was acting like a full on stalker at points and I really didn’t understand where her obsession with finding Flora in the first place came from. Sure, they used to be best friends and very close, but I feel like after a decade of not speaking you should just move on and let people live their lives.

It was nice seeing Beth and her family team up to solve the mystery, though. I feel like too often in thriller and mystery books the woman or wife or mother is made out to be mentally unsound and her partner or husband doesn’t want to help out. That wasn’t the case here, and Beth’s husband and daughter got involved in various aspects of the case with her.

The ending was really quite out there. Like I said, I figured out what was happening but the amount of things that would have to come together to make the ending happen was immense, and I’m not sure it was entirely realistic. Actually, it wasn’t realistic at all. It would have needed much more fleshing out to actually work in my eyes. 

Overall Haven’t They Grown is a very middle of the road book. I neither loved it nor hated it, although I did roll my eyes at several points. On the plus side, it’s very fast paced and I read it in just a few hours before I went to bed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *