Darren, Andrew and Mrs Hall by RJ Gould

A wry, and witty, look at life and relationships

Emma and Andrew are finally able to move out of their dark flat, into a lovely house.  Darren’s business is not doing so well so it is time for him and Kelly to move somewhere smaller.   Their new homes are two doors away from each other.   Emma and Kelly get on immediately, the men not so well.  When Mrs Hall, the new “in-between” neighbour, moves in, she seems very keen to spend a lot of time with Darren and Andrew!

A totally realistic, gentle tale of relationships, friendships and life – set in Muswell Hill, London.  The characters are the sort of people you might know and the events in their lives are told with wit and empathy. 

As we follow the activities of the 4, plus Mrs Hall, so we get to know their lives, and just as with friends, as time goes on (or in this case pages turn) so we learn more about their daily activities, and their deeper thoughts about what is going on beneath the surface of their everyday lives. 

This is a book that flows, and I really felt I knew Emma and her friends.  It looks at long term relationships, and what changes over time, in a sensitive and realistic way, with humour and thoughtfulness.   So true to life that when my husband came back from a run and did exactly what Emma did, I started to laugh – which was difficult to explain. 

This is part of RJ Gould’s Dream Cafe series, but reads equally well as a standalone.

This is the 6th novel I have read by this author, and again he has caught the essence of life, thrown in humour and captured the goodness of people – as well as their foibles.  Grab the cat/coffee/chocolate, settle down and enjoy.    

Set:  Muswell Hill, London

Publisher:  Independent

Published:  29 March 2023

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Some of the other books I have read, and reviewed, by this author (click on book cover to see review) :