Haven’t They Grown by Sophie Hannah

All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home.

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Published: January 23rd 2020
Page Count: 336
I didn't quite like the ending; I thought there was too much telling and not enough showing. I thought it was a bit ridiculous actually. I also didn't like how Beth paid little to no attention to her second child, Ben. He's barely there, in fact. But I'm giving this four out of five because I found it compelling.

Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn’t want to see her today, or ever again.

But she can’t resist. She parks outside the open gates of Newnham House, watches from across the road as Flora and her children Thomas and Emily step out of the car. Except… There’s something terribly wrong. Flora looks the same, only older. As Beth would have expected. It’s the children. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then.

They are still five and three. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt – Hilary hears Flora call them by their names – but they haven’t changed at all.

They are no taller, no older… Why haven’t they grown?

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