BOOK CLUB: Those People

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Author: Louise Candlish
ISBN: 9781471168086
RRP: $29.99
Publication Date: July 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Those People is published by Simon and Schuster and is the first novel by Louise Candlish that I have read. Although I didn’t receive a copy of the book through Beauty and Lace book club, I was intrigued enough by the blurb to want to read it.

The book is centred around a group of residents who live harmoniously in Lowland Way, a leafy enclave west of Crystal Palace, South London. Ralph Morgan, his wife Naomi and their 2 children, 12 year old Libby and 7 year old Charlie live at number 7, his brother Finn, wife Tess and their two children, nine year old Isla and 4 year old Dex live next door at number 5. At number 3, a semi-detached home, live Anthony and Emma Kendall with their baby Sam, number 1, the other side of the semi-detached, has been vacant since the owner Jean passed away. Number 2 Lowland way, directly opposite number 1, is occupied by Sissy Watkins. Left with a huge mortgage after needing to buy her ex-husband Colin out, Sissy has been forced to turn her house into a BnB in order to meet her expenses and is understandably proud of her high star rating.

Due to minimal off street parking, most residents are forced to park in the street, but every Sunday morning, due to an initiative from Naomi, all cars are moved from the street, blockades put up at each end and the children are free to play in the street like they used to in “the good old days.” The initiative, which received a warm reception from the community, and named Play Out Sunday was the winner of the Urban Spaces Award.

And then one day Darren Booth and his partner Jodie move into number 1. Right from the start it is clear that Darren and Jodie are not the sort of people that fit the ambiance of Lowland Way. Despite an attempt from the neighbourhood to welcome them “those people” seem hell bent on doing everything possible to get the neighbours offside, from heavy metal music blaring at all hours of day and night, DIY renovations (including scaffolding), numerous cars in all states of disrepair in the garden and up and down the street and a blanket refusal to participate in moving the cars for Play Out Sunday.

But as “those people” test the resident’s patience, cracks begin to appear in the veneer of happiness and contentment of those who live in Lowland Way, tempers flare and tensions escalate until the incident of 11 August 2018 leaves one person dead. The residents are convinced that it is all the fault of “those people”, but the police are not convinced, and their ongoing investigation will reveal much about each of the individual residents.

I really loved the way that each of the early chapters of the book commenced with a statement from a resident to the police, taken on the day of the incident, and then the chapters themselves were a timeline counting down from 8 weeks before, to 5 days after the incident. The later chapters then built on the story, both as the investigation continued and filling in events leading up to, and subsequent to the incident. The characters were strong and believable and the impact of “those people” on the small community understandable.

The only downside for me was the ending which I felt implied where the conclusion of the tale was going, but left it hanging.

There is no doubt that neighbours like Darren and Jodie are to be dreaded, and many I’m sure would be able to relate to the residents experiences, but one thing that made me very glad was that, unlike poor Em and Ant, living in Australia means that when you call the police because of late night noise they will attend and not fob you off with “that’s a council issue!”

A gripping read that you won’t want to put down, highly recommended 4 Stars.

This guest review was submitted by our Beauty and Lace Club member: Marcia. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Marcia.

Those People is published by Simon and Schuster and is available now where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading The Woman from St Germain so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

10 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Those People

  1. Thank you Simon and Schuster, Beauty and Lace and of course Louise Candlish for the opportunity to read Those People.
    It was an alright read. I can’t say I was overly captivated by it. There was a lot of jumping from one person to the next. The ending left me with a lot of unanswered questions so maybe there will be another one in time to explain what happened to certain characters.

  2. “Those People” is an interesting read… Its only when an oddball person, someone who did not fit into the mold, into the society that is Lowland Way that things in this perfect little street become a bit hazy. Its only when this uncouth, drinking, car mechanic and his partner challenge the serenity and values of the people living there that their true personalities come out. Hidden anger of dad and husband Ralph, that Naomi, his wife, whose composure is impeccable starts to fray. Then there is Tess, stay at home mum, forever in her sister in law’s (Naomi) shadow, she finds her own way to support her values while trying to protect her children, pets and local swan babies from the horror that is the newcomers. Em and Ant are hit hardest… they share a wall with the loud and obnoxious newcomers, them and their now not sleeping baby son Sam. Across from what becomes a car yard and demolition zone is Sissy, older, supposedly wiser and trying to make ends meet with her B&B. Business disintegrates due to the newcomer.
    A tragic death, surely it must have been them. The corners they cut, the behaviour and disrespect they have of those around them. It must have been them…. right.
    Yes, the story alternates through each character, but this is well demarcated as you go along. The varied perspectives and actions are best told in this manner, even if a little more challenging to remember who you are with.
    I guess you’ll have to read it to find out who really was the culprit… the snobby society people or those people who moved in?

    Thanks all for a great opportunity to read this book, especially Beauty & Lace.

  3. Louise Candlish brought characters to life in her novel “Those People”. I was able to imagine living on Lowland Way and related to the friendliness of good neighbours and friends as she painted the picture of life in this family friendly and peaceful neighbourhood. All was not well however with the arrival of new neighbours Darren and Jodie who did not share the camaraderie and spirit of those already living in the street. Havoc ensued and the picture perfect neighbourhood was quickly transformed for the worse. Twists and turns throughout the book held interest and it was an easy read, but I did find the storyline a bit drawn out and was disappointed by the ending.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review this novel.

  4. Those People is the second book I have read by Louise Candlish and as before I really enjoyed it. In fact I struggled to put it down, a very addictive read!

    I enjoyed how the chapters switched between the characters giving you a insight into what each one was dealing with not only with ‘those people’ but also with their lives outside this issue.

    I find Louise’s writting fluent and easy to read. She is able to make the characters feel real and their issues feel real, I could easily imagine myself as part of Lowland Way living amongst them.

    I am very impressed and looking forward to reading more from her!

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster for the chance to read and recommend another great book.

  5. Lowland way is a pretty tree lined street with friendly neighbors with shared ideals. Untill their world is disrupted by new neighbors, Darren Booth and his partner Jodie or “Those People”, who move into number 1 Lowland Way.

    Namoi is the creator of play out Sundays, whereby all vehicles are moved off the street and the road is closed creating a safe environment for children to enjoy the outdoors and play games on the street like the “old days”. She lives with her husband Ralph and their 2 children in number 7. Finn Ralphs brother lives next door with his wife Tess a stay at home mother to their two young children.

    Sissy lives opposite “those people” running a BnB out of her home to pay off her debt left after her divorce.

    Em and Anthony with their baby Sam live in the duplex connected to Darren and Jodie. They are impacted the greatest by the new couples arrival.

    Darren and Jodie dont fit into the mold of Lowland Way, with their heavy drinking, parties, loud music and refusal to participate in play Out Sundays. Darren begins to renovate the house, his diy construction ruffling more off the neighbors feathers. ” Those People” start to cause cracks in this once peaceful street, the true personalities of its residents come to the surface.

    Bickering, complaining and plotting, they have to find a way to get rid of “those people”.

    The story moves through a time line starting eight weeks before the event, jumping from each persons perspective in the street. I found some of the characters very relatable, while others characters were frustrating and pretentious. It was an interesting read and makes me happy to have good neighbors.

  6. ‘Those People’, what a great book! It’s an intriguing, modern day who-dunnit with something for everyone.

    Centred around idyllic, upper middle class Lowland Way, in the UK, ‘Those People’ examines how life & peace can change when the neighbours from hell move into your picture perfect street.

    Darren Booth and his partner Jodie inherit a house from an elderly relative and decide to set up a car sale yard in Lowland Way, much to the dismay of his uppity neighbours.

    This book was written in an interesting way, many of the chapters begin with police transcripts from the various residents of Lowland Way, telling their version of events on a terrible tragedy that occurred in the street.

    I loved the variety of characters, the mystery and the underlying tensions between the neighbours.

    I enjoyed reading this book from start to finish, it was unique, interesting and left me wanting more.

  7. Those People by Louse Candlish, it was an interesting read. The way the book was set out was different from any others I have read before. The book was mainly segmented by the counting down of events by residents, this did make it easy to read and relate to each of the residents but it also made it difficult to keep up with who was doing what … when. It did also create a little confusion for me as I felt it was a bit disjointed in terms of the story as a whole. The storyline was interesting and on the whole the story was enjoyable and was well explained in terms of each character it just felt disjointed. The beginning promised a twist in the storyline and this did not disappoint. The story leads the reader into thinking each resident, through their account of events, may have been the one who ultimately caused the death of one young woman, although each resident is keen to point the finger at the new neighbours Darren and Jodie. These new neighbours, Darren and Jodie have not made life easy for any of the existing residents and are not worried about making friends or keeping the street harmonious. This is the basis of the story and eventually has all the neighbours doubting and wondering who really did cause the death of this young woman, it also uncovered an underlying rift and tension among all of the neighbours. Overall a good read but it really needs to be read in one sitting to keep all the stories/events in order in your head while getting to the ending.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster for the chance to read and review this book

  8. Though this was an enjoyable read I didn’t find it as captivating as I thought I would.

    There were a lot of characters and it was interesting to find out how their different personalities dealt with the arrival of the Jodie and Darren, the nightmare neighbors. In a way, most readers can probably relate as I’m sure we’ve all come across less than ideal neighbors so it was a good opportunity to examine how you would respond if you were put in the situation. I did feel empathy for a few of the characters, namely Em (the new mother and direct neighbor) and Sissy (whose business was negatively impacted). The ending seemed a little abrupt and didn’t seem to wrap everything up so you were left to wonder what became of some of the characters.

    I would read another title by Louise Candlish and would like to thank Beauty and Lace book club and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to review ‘These People’.

  9. “Those People” is a very interesting read. It starts off slowly enough, but quickly gains momentum.
    The characters in this neighbourhood all seem normal enough, until things start to happen. I found myself wondering exactly how far would a person go to try and maintain the status quo
    Lots of different characters in this tale: some I identified with, some who instantly I felt a disconnect from and others who left me in an emotional jumble
    This was a very enjoyable read. It was also a rather disturbing read as it went to places I was reluctant to explore. I was left questioning things; questioning how I would have reacted in this scenario.
    When do “those people” become us?
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Simon and Schuster for the chance to delve into this Louise Candlish novel and go to places my mind had never ventured

  10. Thank you Simon and Schuster, and Beauty and Lace for the copy of ‘Those People.’
    I quite enjoyed the book- it kept you guessing until the end with not only one, but two ‘who dunnit’ crimes.
    Darren and Jody move into the street and immediately don’t fit in with their middle class neighbours. The neighbours are already close knit but bond further in their hatred for Darren and Jody.

    The story is told via interviews of the residents of the street and then as first person accounts. At first I was a little confused about who was who but as I read on I was able to place everyone.
    A good read and I recommend the book. Would definitely read something else by Louise Candlish

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