Title: Watching You
Author: Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: December 26, 2018
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Source: Digital ARC via NetGalley (AND finished physical copy via publisher)
This story has SO many moving parts. It takes place in a neighborhood in Bristol, England. Joey is a twenty-something girl who lives with her new husband in the attic of her brother’s posh house. This row of houses has been part of Joey’s life since she was a child, she always dreamed of living in one of them. Now that she does, she is trying to get her life together.
Next door is Tom, the headmaster of a local school. He is well known and liked throughout the area as someone who “fixes” schools before moving on to the next project. Joey finds herself fascinated with him and develops a crush that may turn into something more.. Tom also has an incredibly talented prodigy of a son, Freddie, who goes to high school and wants to be a spy. He watches the neighborhood and documents the movements of it’s residents from his bedroom.
Further down the street, in the less posh neighborhood lives Jenna, a student at Tom’s school who is not convinced that Tom is as straight-laced as everyone else seems to think he is. She is also sure that her best friend is getting more than friendly with Tom. All while she is also tasked with caring for her mother whose mental health has been going down hill and is sure that Tom is stalking her as well.
As we follow all of these stories they become intertwined with each other as well as the past where we get a glimpse of diary entries from a girl who may be in love with her teacher.
The story is fantastic and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I just couldn’t put it down until I got all the answers! There were several times where I thought I had the plot figured out, only to be thrown off once again by Lisa Jewell’s fantastic twists. While I haven’t got to read any her previous work yet, Then She Was Gone is on my bookshelf and I’m dying to pick it up!
Huge thank you to the publisher for not only sending me an eARC to review, but also a finished copy!
“But what do you do with an unattainable crush once it’s yours to keep? What does it become? Should there perhaps be a word to describe it? Because that’s the thing with getting what you want: all that yearning and dreaming and fantasizing leaves a great big hole that can only be filled with more yearning and dreaming and fantasizing.”
-Lisa Jewell, Watching You
*Please note, this quote is from an ARC copy, so it may change in the final copy.
Synopsis: Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.
As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.
One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.
Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…
Connect with me:
Please note: All links marked with (*) are affiliate links. Meaning, if you click and make a purchase I will get a small percentage of the purchase price from the retailer. Purchases like these help support my blog!