Helen’s idyllic life—handsome architect husband, gorgeous Victorian house, and cherished baby on the way (after years of trying)—begins to change the day she attends her first prenatal class and meets Rachel, an unpredictable single mother-to-be. Rachel doesn’t seem very maternal: she smokes, drinks, and professes little interest in parenthood. Still, Helen is drawn to her. Maybe Rachel just needs a friend. And to be honest, Helen’s a bit lonely herself. At least Rachel is fun to be with. She makes Helen laugh, invites her confidences, and distracts her from her fears.
But her increasingly erratic behavior is unsettling. And Helen’s not the only one who’s noticed. Her friends and family begin to suspect that her strange new friend may be linked to their shared history in unexpected ways. When Rachel threatens to expose a past crime that could destroy all of their lives, it becomes clear that there are more than a few secrets laying beneath the broad-leaved trees and warm lamplight of Greenwich Park.
What’s it about (in a nutshell):
Helen is expecting and so far so good with this pregnancy. When her husband and other family members don’t show up for their first pre-natal class, Helen is forced to make friends with Rachel, the only other non-partnered person in the class. And from that point on in the story, everything gets twisty, turny, and jaw-droppingly crazy.
What I Enjoyed:
I enjoyed the psychological play in this story where nothing and no one is as they seem. The pace of the story is incredibly fast, with new twists and revealed secrets with the turning of each page. Everyone is suspect, and it is hard to discern fact from fiction until it is laid out at the end.
The story takes a few steps back in time that are brief and not confusing yet add to the suspense as just enough clues are dropped to understand how they relate to the current situation. And then there are also a few brief sections, simply titled Greenwich Park, which are obscure and add to the suspense and atmosphere just purely based on the situation unfolding in the scene.
In all, there are three narrators, and I would qualify as unreliable at least two of them. Of course, I won’t tell you which two because what fun would that be. The three narrators are Helen, Serena – Helen’s older brother’s wife, and Katie, Helen’s younger brother’s girlfriend. Helen is on leave from work because she has some issues with high blood pressure while pregnant. Serena is a professional photographer and also pregnant, and Katie is a journalist. Three professional ladies who are respected in their particular field hold so many secrets from each other that it’s hard to discern who is telling the truth and who is lying.
What I Wish:
The ending is so well wrapped up, but I love a creepy open-ended conclusion. I know many people don’t, but that’s my favorite kind of ending for this genre.
All of the characters were developed okay. Enough so you could understand them but not to the point where you could guess anything before the plot reveals it.
Rachel is my favorite character, which may seem odd to some, especially those who have read the book. She’s just so interesting that she immediately draws my attention and holds it for the duration. I liked that she enjoyed shocking people even when it also shocked me. I could easily see why Helen was drawn to her against her better judgment, and I think I would have also been.
Reminds Me Of:
The publisher compares Greenwich Park to The Girl on the Train, and I think I can see that. It reminded me of You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon or The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones of the more recent psychological thrillers I have read and reviewed.
To Read or Not to Read:
If you are looking for a story that will spin you around, you have to give Greenwich Park a go. You never know where each door in the wall around the park will lead you.