Full disclosure with this one, I know Heidi Perks. We don’t know each other well, but for the last twenty-five years or so we have shared a very dear friend, Mrs D. This means we’ve been to parties, hen nights, that kind of thing together. I still hear about her whenever I go home, so when I was told that she had written a UK Sunday Times bestseller, I was curious and yes, I hate to admit it, a little envious too. The ever thoughtful Mrs D sent me Heidi’s novel as a birthday present this year and I probably let it sit on my bedside table a little longer than I should have. This year, my blog has really been front and centre of my mind and obviously I would want to include Heidi’s novel, but what if I didn’t like it and worse still, what if it was no good? How would I ever say this to Mrs D? Would it be easier to simply never read it?
My birthday was January, it’s currently April, this review will publish in May and all I can tell you, is that I shouldn’t have waited. Her One Mistake is a really clever book, where nothing is quite as it seems. It tells the story of Charlotte and Harriet, both mothers, yet polls apart. Charlotte is the mom we all know from the playground; beautiful, socially adept and friends with everyone. A woman who can effortlessly fit in to any social circle. Harriet by contrast is mousy, shy and withdrawn. Friends with only Charlotte and immensely private, Harriet has never let anyone babysit her four year old daughter, Alice. One Saturday, after years of offering, she finally allows Charlotte to take Alice to a school fair without her, so that she can attend a bookkeeping course at a local hotel. As you might expect disaster strikes and within a short time of arriving at the fair Charlotte has lost Alice.
Her One Mistake is an unsettling novel, particularly if you are a parent. I’ve always allowed my kids a relatively free reign to be with their friends, even from a young age and similarly my friends have relied on me to take their children. Obviously as you read this story you can imagine, or so we think, the horror of one of our children going missing but equally, do we ever stop and wonder what it would be like to lose to someone else’s child? How would that impact, your life, your mental health, your own family?
Mrs D has posted frequently over recent months of Heidi’s success in the UK and having read this novel, all I can say, is that she deserves it. Her One Mistake is the kind of read that I would have been thrilled to find on my own, from an author I didn’t know. It gives me a special kind of delight, to be able to recommend it. Well done Heidi!