Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Radleys by Matt Haig

The Radleys: A Novel
 Title:  The Radleys
Author:  Matt Haig
Publisher:  Free Press
Publication Date:  December 2010 (US), original release July 2010 (UK)
Format:  Hardcover, 366 pages
Age Group:  adult
Website:  www.radleysbook.com

What happens when two vampires decide to give up blood and live a normal life?  How long do they keep the family secret from their children?  Peter and Helen Radley live by the rules in the Abstainer's Handbook but are drawn back into the world of blood with a single act of violence which forever changes their future.

The Radleys is unlike any vampire book I have ever read.  It is a family saga and could be written about many English families, if those families happen to be vampires.  It is the relationships within the family that truly matter - between husband and wife, parent and child, between two brothers.  It is the discovery of a family secret that changes lives and redirects many paths.  The Radleys is nothing like Twilight or True Blood or urban fantasy novels featuring vampires.  There is much less action and more introspection.  There are moral questions and a strong attempt to blend in to the unblood English society.

Told in short chapters with shifting focus, The Radleys is a dark examination of life in English suburbia when keeping the family secret is held more closely than anything else.  If you are a fan of all things English and vampires, I highly recommend The Radleys.  I found it a delightfully dark change of pace from the other types of vampires stories that seem to be taking over books and movies these days.

Be sure to check out the website, www.radleysbook.com, for an excerpt, book trailer, and Twitter chatter from some of the characters.

I received a copy of The Radleys from the publicists at Free Press (a division of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for my honest review.

(Completely random connection - The Radleys live at 17 Orchard Lane, The Banks family in Mary Poppins lives at 17 Cherry Tree Lane.  I kept thinking of this every time I saw the address in the book.)

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links and I do earn a small percentage for each item purchased through those links. Any other referral or associate links will be noted within the post.