Sunday 20 June 2021

The Darlings by Angela Jackson | Blog Tour Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received a ebook copy of the book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

The Darlings by Angela Jackson - 4/5

"When Mark Darling is fifteen years old, he is the golden boy, captain of the school football team, admired by all who know him. Until he kills his best friend in a freak accident.

He spends the next decade drifting between the therapy couch and dead-end pursuits. Then along comes Sadie. A mender by nature, she tries her best to fix him, and has enough energy to carry them both through the next few years.

One evening, Mark bumps into an old schoolfriend, Ruby. She saw the accident first hand. He is pulled towards her by a force stronger than logic: the universal need to reconcile one’s childhood wounds. This is his chance to, once again, feel the enveloping warmth of unconditional love. But can he leave behind the woman who rescued him from the pit of despair, the wife he loves? His unborn child?

This is a story about how childhood experience can profoundly impact how we behave as adults. It’s a story about betrayal, infidelity and how we often blinker ourselves to see a version of the truth that is more palatable to us."

This book is such an interesting one and I was intrigued right from the very beginning.

Fifteen year old Mark Darling accidentally killed best friend Fergus during a cricket game at school. The bat flew from his hand, hitting Fergus on the head. A few years later, Mark's mother and father die in a car accident so he is truly alone in the world.

In the present day, Mark is married to Sadie and they have a baby on the way; they had gone down the IVF route. Mark credits Sadie with saving his life. He was in a bad place when they met and now he is on medication and going to counseling. She turned his life around.

Mark bumps into an old school acquaintance, Ruby, and there is a connection there. Sadie saved his life but Ruby knows him from a different time. She knows who he was before the accident. They begin an illicit affair. I felt the urgency in this because affairs are always discovered so there was an element of excitement to it.

On paper, I shouldn't like this book. I do not condone cheating in any form but the story and the way this book is written really carries it. It explores infidelity and betrayal not just on the surface but in a deeper way.

Mark carries a lot of self hatred and I felt like there was a bit of a juxtaposition with the fact that he was desperate to be a popular comedian with fans who love him and his act. 

You can feel the change in Mark's feelings towards Sadie as the book goes on and the author has made it flow effortlessly. 

I loved it!

 Angela Jackson, author

Angela Jackson is a former psychology lecturer and teacher trainer. Her debut novel The Emergence of Judy Taylor won the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s First Book Award and was Waterstones’ Scottish Book of the Year. 

The Darlings is her second novel. 

Originally from the north of England, she now lives with her family in Edinburgh.


A massive thank you to Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for having me on the tour. You can find the information of other bloggers that are taking part in the tour in the graphic below.

Be First to Post Comment !
Post a Comment