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Too Close to Home    by Susan Lewis order for
Too Close to Home
by Susan Lewis
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, Softcover, Audio, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Susan Lewis writes about tough topics with a deep empathy, taking readers into the lives of families who seem so real that they could be our own. She's covered breast cancer; the discovery that a husband has another child; a son doing something terrible; and a social worker's intervention in horrific child abuse.

Now, in Too Close to Home, as a loving family unravels when the husband decides that he needs to be with another woman, the fifteen year old daughter is going through something awful, steadily escalating in seriousness. Paige badly needs support that just isn't there for her - partly because she is keeping her problems to herself and partly because her mother is so distracted by all that she has to deal with.

We watch this unfold from the point of view of Jenna Moore. She went along with her husband Jack's desire to move to the Welsh coast after he lost his job in publishing. Her life is quite a balancing act as she strives to get over writer's block and meet her commitment to her own publisher, help her husband launch their new web-based business, and look after four children, with ages ranging from five to fifteen.

Jenna's beloved daughter Paige has good friends (including a supporter she has never met and only communicates with online), but a very nasty group at school has been picking on her, in person and increasingly through social media. Susan Lewis does an excellent job of showing how cyber-bullying can quickly rage out of control, yet with adults who should take action largely unaware.

As in her other novels, the author manages to give us a story that is both very disturbing and very heartwarming in Too Close to Home. Definitely worth a read!

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