That Night At The Beach – ARC Book Review

Title:- That Night At The Beach

Author:- Kate Hewitt

Date published:- will be published on 19th January 2023

Publisher:- Bookouture

No. of pages:- 398 pages

Genre:- Women’s Fiction


Plot:- 5/5

Writing:- 5/5

Overall rating:- 5/5

As mothers we never dare to delve into our worst-nightmare scenarios. What if… we might murmur to each other, and then shake our heads, telling ourselves it’ll never happen to us if we’re just good enough mothers. Yet here we are. And the steady beep of the heart monitor is the only evidence the child in front of us is alive…

It’s Labor Day weekend, so of course we went to the beach. Like we do every year. For a barbecue picnic with my best friend Rose. It’s the perfect tradition—drinks, games, burgers, music, laughter. Together with our husbands, my two teenage sons and her two daughters, we all arrived as the sun was still shimmering over the water, the whole evening ahead of us.

But nothing goes to plan. Old secrets emerge, tempers flare. And so we parents decide to leave the beach, telling the teenagers to enjoy themselves, reassuring them someone will be back to collect them in an hour or two.

But when I return a little while later, I know something is really wrong. Our teens are slurring their words, stumbling to the car. It’s clear they have been drinking and I’m shocked. I never expected our kids to behave this way. I’m bracing myself to have firm words with them in the morning, but the next day my concerns fade to nothing, when seventeen-year-old Bella claims my son Finn assaulted her.

Finn insists he would never do that. And I so want to believe him. Because I brought my son up right. Because a mother would know, wouldn’t she?

What I don’t know is that the answer to what happened that night on the beach may be a matter of life and death for one of our beloved children…

If you are a fan of Jodi Picoult, then I strongly recommend this book.

The two families, Johnsons and Rosses were spending together at the beach for Labor Weekend. Due to a fight between the two husbands, the parents leave the beach, leaving their four children–Bella, Finn, Elspeth and Henry at the beach with Cara collecting them later. But as soon as Cara collects them, she realizes that something was wrong–Bella and Finn seemed to be drunk and Finn seemed to have brought some beers with fake ID. But soon, things started to get nasty when Rose’s daughter Bella accuses Finn of sexually assaulting her.

The story is told from Cara’s and Rose’s POV. To me, this was very emotional, a little like “Me Too” movement. You can truly understand the wave of feelings and emotions that both these women as mothers going through–Cara believes her son is innocent although as a woman, she knows that Bella may not be lying. Rose is determined to protect her daughter by going to the police to report on the sexual assault. The drama between the two families, the wave of emotions that passed between the families, the social media attack, the attack on both Finn and Bella and how it affected Finn in school, they were all realisting to me and I really liked how the author has managed to capture the emotions and written well. The author brilliantly captured the feelings and emotions and put them to words to make the reader also feel they are also part of the story. Overall, it was a heartbreaking story though the ending was a happily-ever-after ending. Worth a complete five stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Kate is the USA Today-bsetselling author of many books of both historical and contemporary fiction. Under the name Katharine Swartz, she is the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell.

She likes to read women’s fiction, mystery and thrillers, as well as historical novels. She particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in a market town in Wales with her husband, five children, and two Golden Retrievers

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