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Description - The Swap by Robyn Harding

Low Morrison is not your average teen. You could blame her hippie parents or her dreary, isolated island hometown. Whatever the reason, Low just doesn't fit in - and neither does newcomer Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer.

After signing up for Freya's pottery class, Low quickly falls under her spell. Buoyed by Low's adoration, Freya is compelled to share her darkest secrets and deepest desires. Finally, Low feels a sense of belonging ... until Jamie walks through the studio door. Freya, Jamie and their husbands become fast friends, leaving Low alone once again.

Then one night, after a boozy dinner party, Freya suggests swapping partners. It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, but instead, it upends their lives.

And provides Low with the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment.
'Harding has outdone herself with The Swap. This is a provocative, edgy thriller. Just when you think you've got a handle on it ... you don't.' Samantha Downing, author of My Lovely Wife

'Gripping from the first line, The Swap is a wickedly delicious, addictive, utterly compelling read about obsession, toxic relationships, and dangerous secrets. I devoured every dark, twisted word until the last explosive scene. An absolute must-read, this suspense will shock and rivet readers through each masterful page.' Samantha M. Bailey, bestselling author of Woman on the Edge

'Harding conjures a dark, inescapable feeling of intimidation on [s] remote island astir with gossip and lies . . . [Her] tale will please readers who enjoy delving into the details of a character's personality and motivations, considering how past and present choices shape the future, and how private actions in a relationship are different from public displays.' Booklist

'[A] convincing tale of obsession and celebrity worship . . . In this intense character study, the veneer of each person cracks . . . Fans of psychological thrillers will be satisfied.' Publishers Weekly

'Nearly everyone in this passion play becomes delightfully unhinged in the end . . . Dangerously addictive.' Kirkus Reviews

Buy The Swap by Robyn Harding from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9781760854232
Format: Paperback / softback
(234mm x 153mm x mm)
Pages: 336
Imprint: Simon & Schuster Australia
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Publish Date: 8-Jul-2020
Country of Publication: Australia

Book Reviews - The Swap by Robyn Harding

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Book Review: The Swap by Robyn Harding - Reviewed by (05 Jul 2020)

5 stars The Swap is the fourth novel by Canadian author, Robyn Harding. Stuck out on an isolated island in the Pacific North-west of the continent, seventeen-year-old Low Morrison is smart, but friendless and bored, so when beautiful, charismatic Freya Light turns up at her high school offering pottery classes, Low is immediately drawn in. Low’s family life is unconventional, with parents, lovers and children openly cohabiting: Low craves normal, craves acceptance, and Freya embodies that.

Freya had transformed her social media influencer status into a lucrative concern until it all turned to dust when her gorgeous ice-hockey player husband, Maxime Beausoleil ruined it by aggressively overreacting to an illegal hit. Now they are exiled in Hawking and Freya seems grateful for Low’s company. Low revels in her crush, delusional in her adulation, until she is suddenly dropped for a new friend: Jamie Vincent.

Jamie and her husband are newcomers too: Brian a teacher turned YA fantasy writer while Jamie runs a gift shop that stocks Freya’s pottery. The couples hit it off, and one night, after some assisted merriment, the partners swap, unaware they are being observed, and wholly naïve of the far-reaching consequences of their behaviour.

Harding uses four narrators who describe what happened from different perspectives, with the benefit of hindsight. For the reader, it quickly becomes clear that Freya is a psychopath, using her allure to manipulate, targeting the vulnerable, the needy, and setting them up to compete for her attention.

Even when reality dawns, when faced with clear evidence of outright lies, those deceived by Freya make excuses for her, unable to break the strength of her spell: “I considered editing Freya out of my life, too. It was what Brian wanted – not that he’d said so specifically. But I had to agree that ending my friendship with my husband’s lover, who was also my lover’s wife, would make things a hell of a lot simpler. But I couldn’t let Freya go.”

Harding’s fourth novel is deliciously dark in places, with turns in the plot that even the most astute reader will not predict. She paints a vivid picture, fascinating to watch, of a woman who is able to turn every situation to serve her, fostering insecurity when it suits her, grooming those around her into facilitators and acolytes. All this with an underlying black humour that will have readers (perhaps involuntarily) laughing out loud. Utterly brilliant!! This unbiased review is from a copy provided by Simon & Schuster Australia.

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