The Baby Shower by S.E. Lynes

Published: March 1, 2022


Pages: 360

Genre: Psychological Thriller

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

S.E. Lynes is a former BBC Producer; she has lived in France, Spain, Scotland, and Italy and is now settled in Greater London. After completing her MA, S E Lynes taught creative writing at Richmond Adult Community College for ten years. She now combines writing, mentoring, and lecturing in Richmond Borough.

She bursts into my life like a storm, and nothing is the same again. She seems so perfect, with her lilting laugh and her beautiful face. One by one, I watch as my friends fall under her spell.

Only I seem to suspect something. Only I see that her smiles don’t reach her cold, furious eyes. And when I’m accused of things I didn’t do, when my home is vandalized, I know she’s behind it. But she only lets her mask slip when no one is looking, so if I say anything, I’ll look crazy.

So when the baby shower comes around I’m there, sitting on a velvet sofa in a posh hotel room, surrounded by balloons. We share gifts, we pour small glasses of champagne, and she beams, her bump just visible under her bright red shirt.

But that afternoon, I finally learn the unbelievable truth.

“A life raft is not watertight.”

Jane has a simple life, and she is comfortably happy with it. She has an amazing husband, her safe space; his presence alone brings her comfort, and a group of great girlfriends, Sophie, Hils, and Kath, and her dream business is starting to thrive. So when Sophie brings a new friend into the mix, Jane is just a bit nervous. Until she realizes that this new friend isn’t just looking to join their clique, she wants to take Jane out.

This was a bundle of emotions from start to finish. So many twists that make this story much more profound than expected.

This was so much more than a thriller. It’s a dive into adult friendship, coming to terms and letting go of past hurt, forgiveness, materialism, Instagram vs. reality, adult bullying.

In the beginning, it came across as Jane being insecure and a bit jealous when Lexie was brought into the group. Which made some sense; Janes identity was partially defined by her friendship with Sophie and the girls.

As the story develops, and as Jane’s character develops, we see her come to terms that maybe her friendship with Sophie wasn’t what she thought. That is was more one-sided than she ever realized. That Sophie maybe enjoyed being the one to buy nice things for Jane who couldn’t afford them.

Glamorous Lexie appears to have no money woes and makes grand gestures toward Sophie that make the others uncomfortable. Lexie also has a picture-perfect Instagram feed, filled with filtered shots of her things- house, car, clothes, shoes, etc., complete with a string of hashtags.

Sophie takes to Lexie rather quickly, and when Lexie claims, Jane was rude to her, things spiral in a very juvenile manner. While Jane internally panics and struggles to attempt to understand what is happening, she is gently reminded of what true love and friendship are.

I was very surprised that adult bullying was a huge theme in this novel because it does not get talked about but happens quite often.

The themes were so well represented throughout this book, and reading this book, you start to feel the weight of everything falling on Jane’s shoulders. Brilliantly written, beautifully delivered, this is an absolute must-read.

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