The Playground

The Playground Review

Big Little Lies meets Lord of The Flies in this electrifyingly twisty follow-up to Jane Shemilt’s breakout debut The Daughter.

Over the course of a long, hot summer in London, the lives of three very different married couples collide when their children join the same tutoring circle, resulting in illicit relationships, shocking violence, and unimaginable fallout.

There’s Eve, a bougie earth mother with a well-stocked trust fund; she has three little ones, a blue-collar husband and is obsessed with her Instagrammable recipes and lifestyle. And Melissa, a successful interior designer whose casually cruel banker husband is careful not to leave visible bruises; she curates her perfectly thin body so closely she misses everything their teenage daughter is hiding. Then there’s Grace, a young Zimbabwean immigrant, who lives in high-rise housing project with her two children and their English father Martin, an award-winning but chronically broke novelist; she does far more for her family than she should have to.

As the weeks go by, the couples become very close; there are barbecues, garden parties, a holiday at a country villa in Greece. Resentments flare. An affair begins. Unnoticed, the children run wild. The couples are busily watching each other, so distracted and self-absorbed that they forget to watch their children. No one sees the five children at their secret games or realize how much their family dynamics are changing until tragedy strikes.

The story twists and then twists again while the three families desperately search for answers. It’s only as they begin to unravel the truth of what happened over the summer that they realize evil has crept quietly into their world.

But has this knowledge come too late?

Title:The Playground

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    The Playground Reviews

  • Berit???

    What a wild ride, this is a playground you want to avoid taking your children to! You know how you feel when you get off one of those playground merry go rounds? A little shook, a little queasy, a lit...

  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    AH-HA-HA-HA - I KNEW IT!!! **points finger and then shakes fist**What an interesting web you weave, Shemilt! The synopsis definitely says best when it comes to Big Little Lies feels because those are ...

  • Kim

    Even though this was a fiction book, it was very disturbing. Once I started reading this book I could not put it down. There is so much going on in this story it made me angry at times and sad at time...

  • Crystal Zavala

    Rating somewhere between 2.5-3The Playground features three families that live in the surrounding areas of London. Eve and Eric have three children, Melissa and Paul have a teenage daughter, and Grace...

  • Christine Moore

    Three families and their children become close over the course of a summer. The parents become too focused on their selves and leave the children too much freedom. When bad things start to happen the ...

  • Kristi

    First Sentence:It was surprising how quickly things took off in the end, like a bonfire, one of those big ones the children loved so much."The Playground by Jane Shemilt is an insightful story that ex...

  • Melissa

    First off--what is with the title? There is not one playground mentioned in this book, it has nothing to do with playgrounds. I'd call this a domestic thriller, set within a group of people who meet w...

  • Ilene Harris

    “The Playground” Starts when three different families meet for the first time for a tutoring circle conducted by Eve, an earth mother, with 4 children and a blue collar husband, but a well stocked...

  • Robyn

    Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book for a review. This book follows the story of three different families whose children all have dyslexia and so therefore are being tutored by the sam...

  • Cori

    3.75 stars.The Playground (still unsure where the title comes from, there's no "playground" involved) follows 3 very different women as they embark on an unforgettable and life changing journey togeth...