Things Don’t Break On Their Own

‘A captivating, haunting, and twisty story’ Karin Slaughter

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Pub Date 20 Jun 2024 | Archive Date Not set

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She could be anyone. She could be you.

Nobody ever found out what happened to Laika Martenwood, the girl who vanished without a trace on her way to school one morning. But for her sister Willa, life shattered into tiny pieces that day, and she has never been able to put them back together again.

Willa sees Laika everywhere: on buses, at parties, in busy streets. It’s been twenty-five years, and the only thing that has kept her going is her belief that her sister is alive, somewhere. 

But when a dinner party conversation about childhood memories spirals out of control, a shattering revelation from one of the guests forces Willa to rethink everything she thought she knew about her past. And, out of the debris of that explosive evening, the truth of what really happened begins to emerge. Piece by piece.

Masterfully plotted with shades of MAGPIE and THE PUSH, THINGS DON'T BREAK ON THEIR OWN is a propulsive debut about how our memories shape us, and the lies we tell to escape them.

'So so so good. A bruising, brilliant and beautiful mystery. An elegant, twisting story of loss and longing, of the ache of the unknown and the drowning weight of past trauma. A very special debut' CHRIS WHITAKER, NYT BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF WE BEGIN AT THE END

She could be anyone. She could be you.

Nobody ever found out what happened to Laika Martenwood, the girl who vanished without a trace on her way to school one morning. But for her sister Willa, life...

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ISBN 9780241640630
PRICE £16.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

This is a beautiful, character led story. A present day dinner party brings up a past trauma in 3 women’s lives and forces them to remember and confront the past. I was hooked from the beginning, and enjoyed the interaction between the different points of view enormously.

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There is something very comforting about the concept of breaking into pieces, fragments of the self, of things, of memories, and then finding ways, new ways and unique ways, to join those cracks and recreate as something, not quite new, but something built on the strength of those fragments that remained.

This is a story of heartbreak, loss and rebirth. It is hard to read the emerging details of Laika's childhood but her story compelled me to keep going and I couldn't put this down after the half way point, I just had to keep going.

There is a message here also, of the treatment of vulnerable elderly people by greedy relatives and those who should be caring for them but are utterly lacking. I felt that I was in that house with them during that time and I wanted to stay because there was acceptance and compassion there. It was a happy surprise to find out what became of the cats, really nice that was included.

It ends well, and is not just satisfying but gives a warm and heartfelt closure.

This gets five stars from me and joins a very small number of books that make it to my favourite books list. LOVED IT.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy.

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Things Don't Break on Their Own is a mystery drama that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. Beautifully written and totally compulsive. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for my early copy.

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This was not what I expected from the synopsis but nonetheless it was an enjoyable, emotional read.

The dinner party in question is attended by 4 couples, some are also siblings, exes etc. but we soon learn Willa's childhood was marred by the disappearance of her sister Laika.

Throughout the dinner, and in Willa's and Robyn's backstory we learn about the secrets of Willa's childhood and what led to the disappearance or Laika but it's clear there is more to the story than meets the eye.

Like I say, this was not what I expected. I thought there would be more of the storyline focused on the dinner party but this actually plays only a minor role in the story. The main story is told via backstory about how Willa and Robyn met and how the disappearance of Laika affected everyone involved

I'm not sure the ending will be delivered without some questions from the reader but it was satisfying and a solid debut novel

Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin General UK - Fig Tree, Hamish Hamilton, Viking, Penguin Life, Penguin Business, Viking for an ARC in exchange for an honest review

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I loved this book. Told in different timelines about 2 sisters and how one of them Laika goes missing leaving Willa and her mother searching for her over the years. The storyline of the sisters and a controlling and abusive father then the relationship between Willa and Robyn kept me gripped and I couldn’t put it down. This is the first book iv read by this author and I will definitely be looking for other books by her now. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this early copy.

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A dinner party romp I thought to begin with. So wrong.

The main character of the book is Laika who’s sister disappeared on her way to school years ago, her trials and tribulations through the years. Her unacceptance of what seemed to be the facts.

Then the girls father is shown for what he really is power hungry individual, but you hope it backfires. The end of the book is totally unexpected, complete with a total twist of the facts.

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Clever and intricately woven, this story draws you right in as Willa seeks answers to a mystery from the past. Revelations at a dinner party lead to uncovering clues that might reveal the circumstances around Willa's sister Laika's disappearance during their childhood. A thrilling and enthralling read.

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