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Victims of recession.

The Lie of the Land - Amanda Craig

How awful would it be to want to divorce your adulterous husband but instead to have to continue living with him because you're caught in the housing trap?! That is the position that Lottie Bredin finds herself in after she catches Quentin sleeping around. She's lost her job as an architect in London and his journalist skills are no longer needed - the only solution is to rent out their London house and move down to rural Devon where they can afford a run-down house in the sticks.

 

Along with their two children and a teenage half-black son from a brief encounter when Lottie was much younger, they must fit in with an established community, very different from their London friends. The area is poor and there's almost no work available apart from a pie manufacturing plant. Their rent is low, but there's a reason for that - which none of the villagers will mention.

 

They set themselves a year, after which the house in London will be sold and they can separate. During that time there are various tensions and a who-done-it, to add interest to the narrative.

Apart from the who-done-it, which seemed to miraculously fall into place at the end, the rest of the book had rather a soap opera feel, not really 'a suspenseful black comedy' as described in the blurb. The style reminded me of books I've read by Anne Tyler, so fans of her books might well enjoy this. It is strongly character based and Amanda Craig does a good job of this - 3.5 stars from me as I'd have liked a little more action.