A Simple Favor
She’s your best friend.She knows all your secrets.That’s why she’s so dangerous.A single mother's life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time. But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems. A Simple Favor is a remarkable tale of psychological suspense—a clever and twisting free-fall of a ride filled with betrayals and reversals, twists and turns, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. Darcey Bell masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page.

A Simple Favor Details

TitleA Simple Favor
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 21st, 2017
PublisherHarper
ISBN-139780062497772
Rating
GenreThriller, Mystery, Fiction, Suspense, Mystery Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Adult, Crime, Adult Fiction, Audiobook

A Simple Favor Review

  • j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
    January 1, 1970
    The only nice thing I can say about this convoluted, ridiculous and BORING hella long novel is that the author, Darcey Bell, is one lucky person. How she managed to get this stinker of a book sold for movie rights is beyond me. Maybe to the Lifetime channel, but MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick and Rupert Friend? Unbelievable. Maybe the movie will be done right, but if this is the story they are working from...I just don't know. Stay tuned in September 2018. In the meant The only nice thing I can say about this convoluted, ridiculous and BORING hella long novel is that the author, Darcey Bell, is one lucky person. How she managed to get this stinker of a book sold for movie rights is beyond me. Maybe to the Lifetime channel, but MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick and Rupert Friend? Unbelievable. Maybe the movie will be done right, but if this is the story they are working from...I just don't know. Stay tuned in September 2018. In the meantime, don't feel bad if you didn't read the book. Wait and see the movie. UPDATE: Here's a link to the film trailer. It looks so good! I'm convinced they re-wrote this book to death. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbNgG...Note: Sorry for my harshness! I just finished a Liz Nugent novel and the difference between the writing is like comparing a first grader's writing to that of a literature professor's.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    After the movie ended, I asked Emily, “Do you think real people would ever do things like that?”Emily laughed. “Sweet Stephanie. You’d be amazed by what people will do. Things they’d never admit to anyone - not even to themselves.” It all begins with a simple favor. You are asked to pick up your best friend's son from school when an emergency at work arises. It all makes sense anyway because your sons are best friends too. It'll be fine because she says she'll need to see her son after such a h After the movie ended, I asked Emily, “Do you think real people would ever do things like that?”Emily laughed. “Sweet Stephanie. You’d be amazed by what people will do. Things they’d never admit to anyone - not even to themselves.” It all begins with a simple favor. You are asked to pick up your best friend's son from school when an emergency at work arises. It all makes sense anyway because your sons are best friends too. It'll be fine because she says she'll need to see her son after such a hard day so she'll be by tonight to pick him up. What do you do if your friend never shows?Mommy blogger Stephanie is in just this predicament. She reaches out to her blog readers for help trying to figure out is this normal and should she be worried all the way to asking if anyone has seen Emily. It is an interesting perspective with Stephanie having no one else to turn to. This allows a bit of introspection, a chance to see who Stephanie is and how she communicates. I've read many novels at this point that use this device, but have seen none that used it as successfully as Bell does here. Stephanie admittedly isn't always honest on her blog. This allows for an unreliable narrator in a unique way. At times Stephanie can feel a bit preachy and to be honest quite annoying. But it's all in her character and who she is. Many of us have shared on this blog how hard it is for moms to feel they’ve got a grip on reality - what day it is, what’s expected of us, what someone said or didn’t. Nothing is easier than convincing a mom that something’s her fault. Even when it isn’t. Especially when it isn’t. At times, I definitely got Gone Girl vibes. Not in terms of Flynn's writing, but the plot. We're given the whole is the character dead or did they run off type of story. Not to say this is a bad thing, but you know it will go one of two ways. Luckily Bell manages to throw in a few additional twists to make it a bit more unpredictable. The problem is: is it too unbelievable?I do love my stories filled with secrets and twists. Up to a certain point, I was really enjoying the story. This one veered a bit on the suspend your disbelief side of mysteries. And that VC Andrews-esque plot line is a bit much, eh?
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  • Michele Jacobsen
    January 1, 1970
    Okay....unreliable narrators (three of them, variously 1st POV throughout the novel), faked deaths, crappy marriages, incest, hidden siblings, etc should have made this book better than it actually was. In a nutshell, the story is about two best friends and one (or both?) of them is ala Gone Girl treacherous. It's got a very fast-moving plot and lots of "revelations" in which the reader is constantly presented with new information that is meant to change your mind about who is good and who is ba Okay....unreliable narrators (three of them, variously 1st POV throughout the novel), faked deaths, crappy marriages, incest, hidden siblings, etc should have made this book better than it actually was. In a nutshell, the story is about two best friends and one (or both?) of them is ala Gone Girl treacherous. It's got a very fast-moving plot and lots of "revelations" in which the reader is constantly presented with new information that is meant to change your mind about who is good and who is bad. The problem? Utter cardboard cut-outs for characters. There is zero attempt to create real people that anyone could possibly identify with. It's readable, it's just very superficial and ultimately unsatisfying. If you're searching for a good thriller, skip it.
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  • Ειρήνη Βαρδάκη
    January 1, 1970
    Ένα δυνατό ψυχογράφημα. Σκοτεινό και διαστροφικό. Πολλές φορές οι δαίμονες είναι άνθρωποι της διπλανής πόρτας. Σίγουρα σοκάρει.
  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    ”’Do you think real people would ever do things like that?’‘Sweet Stephanie. You’d be amazed by what people will do. Things they’d never admit to anyone- not even themselves.’” Synopsis:A mommy blogger with an obsession with veggie burgers decides to half-heartedly play Nancy Drew when her best friend goes missing, and chaos ensues. Pros: We Are What We Blog… Or Are We?- The one lone positive thing I can say about this book is that it does such a wickedly good job at satirizing the blogger life ”’Do you think real people would ever do things like that?’‘Sweet Stephanie. You’d be amazed by what people will do. Things they’d never admit to anyone- not even themselves.’” Synopsis:A mommy blogger with an obsession with veggie burgers decides to half-heartedly play Nancy Drew when her best friend goes missing, and chaos ensues. Pros: We Are What We Blog… Or Are We?- The one lone positive thing I can say about this book is that it does such a wickedly good job at satirizing the blogger lifestyle. Particularly the mommy blog lifestyle. Not having any kiddos or being a mom myself, I can’t relate to motherhood all that well, but I do admit to reading some mommy/lifestyle blogs here and there. There can be a stark contrast between your public blogging persona and private persona you have at home, particularly when it comes to mommy bloggers. You may hate veggie burgers, but you feel you have to feed it to your kidlet because other moms will think you’re poisoning your precious peanut with meat. The author did a hell of a good job showing the difference between Stephanie’s mommy blogging persona and her real personality. Too good of a job, considering how awful she is. Cons: NONE OF THE ADULTS ARE LIKABLE- I would go so far to say that no one in this book is likable, but that wouldn’t be true. The two little boys are just lovely and haven’t been on the earth long enough to become unlikable, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they turned out that way because of their fucked-up childhoods. The author is a daycare teacher, but I secretly think she hates all adults and loves all children, hence making the adults as nightmarish as possible.The unlikable, morally gray female narrator has taken the psychological suspense/thriller genre by storm ever since the Gone Girl phenomenon happened. It’s really hit or miss, unfortunately. You have to create a character that’s pretty bad but still kind of worth rooting for. Or at least have the readers be invested in all the horrible things they’re doing. A book I read not to long ago, The Kind Worth Killing had one of the most deliciously sociopathic female characters I had the pleasure of reading. However, I can honestly say that in this book, all the three main players are truly awful people. Instead of gleefully delighting in their antics, you’ll want to call the imaginary authorities on them to have their assess hauled off to jail. I kept flipping the pages with dread and horror, wondering what the hell they were planning to do next that would make me feel nauseous inside. Gullible Husband is Gullible- Sean isn’t horrible in the way that Emily is sociopathically horrible or Stephanie is hornily horrible. Sean is actually the least offensive of the characters. However, he’s so damn gullible, especially towards the end. He’s totally and completely manipulated by either love or lust for his wife that if she told him to drink antifreeze straight out of the bottle, he would probably do it. And the fact that he’s so cowed by these two women makes him all the more pathetic. The Little Mommy Blogger Who Did… Everyone- And we’re talking in more ways than one. Stephanie is the mommy blogger bestie of Emily who has an aversion to meat and an obsessive love of veggie burgers. She makes her son eat them so often that I am thoroughly convinced that he will soon turn into one. She constantly goes on and on about her dead husband, even though she probably didn’t have time to love him because she was busy doing the dirty with her brother (there’s a different between ‘Eww, Incest’ in a gleeful tone and ‘Eww, Incest’ with a tone of disgust. This one was the latter.) She’s so horny to the point that even though her best friend is missing and presumed dead, she has wet dreams about her bestie’s husband, eventually caving and doing it with him, too. I KID YOU NOT, GENTLE READERS. What the fresh hell is that??!!! She’s just as gullible, if not more so, than Sean because she literally believes anything anyone tells her.Emily, Whom You’ll Want to Incinerate Over the Fiery Pits of Hell-Emily is the missing bestie of Mommy Blogger, and she’s the worst offender out of the three. She’s pure evil. You wouldn’t want to touch her with a thirty nine and a half foot pole, and cuddling Bruce the Shark would be much preferable to ever crossing paths with her. In the case of Lily Kitner, she’s awful in her own right, but there’s a small sense of vulnerability you got when reading about her. In the case of Emily, you never get that from her. From stealing her mother-in-law’s sapphire ring and later blackmailing her husband into keeping his mouth shut, too baiting Stephanie into friendship, to the countless other things she does that I’m not going to tell you (because spoilers), Emily makes the Grinch look like the nicest person on the face of the planet. You’ll hate her guts, and not in a ‘love to hate’ kind of way. Was Stephanie Even Necessary to the Plot?- Spoilers ahead, so beware! (view spoiler)[So Sean and Emily’s plan was to fake her own death, wait for a couple of months, and then collect on the insurance policy they had on her so they could move away to Europe with their son and live a carefree life, right? So then why the hell did they need Stephanie as part of their master plan? Were they really so stupid that they felt they needed to drag someone else into the story? They could have saved themselves a hell of a lot of trouble if they just, ya know, didn’t include Stephanie in their plans. Yeah, it’s getting rid of a major character, but at a certain point Stephanie really wasn’t serving any logical purpose in the novel. (hide spoiler)]The fact that I even think this about a main character is pretty awful.************Intensely unlikable main characters and a nutters plot make this an unbearable, torturous debut novel that should suffer the same fate as one of Stephanie’s beloved veggie burgers: be avoided at all costs.
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  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Mothers, Friends, Secrets....Stephanie and Emily were mothers, they were friends, and they both had secrets even though they thought they knew each other better than they knew themselves.A SIMPLE FAVOR begins when Stephanie keeps Emily's son, Nicky, after school because Emily is going to be late. But...after school turns into overnight, then after school turns into another day and another night, and then yet another day and another night with no Emily.Stephanie didn't know where to turn except t Mothers, Friends, Secrets....Stephanie and Emily were mothers, ​they were ​friends, and they both had secrets even though they thought they knew each other better than they knew themselves.A SIMPLE FAVOR begins when Stephanie keeps Emily's son, Nicky, after school because Emily is going to be late. But...after school turns into overnight, then after school turns ​into another day and ​another ​night, and then ​yet ​another day and another ​night with no Emily.Stephanie didn't know where to turn except to her "mommy blog." Stephanie waits and waits and writes and writes. Stephanie finally calls Emily's husband, Sean, who was in London to tell him his wife has disappeared and that she has been keeping Nicky. Sean didn’t even know who Stephanie was.Sean doesn't seem concerned since Emily said she was going on a business trip, but the problem is that Emily never returns from the business trip.Sean, Stephanie, and the two boys spend a lot of time with each other until they find out the truth that Emily is dead.As we read, Stephanie places her thoughts and emotions on her blog ​and also with Sean.A SIMPLE FAVOR keeps having secrets pop up about all of the characters both current and past.A SIMPLE FAVOR had a unique style with Stephanie's blog taking up most of the chapters ​and all the other chapters also being about Stephanie as she lives her daily life with her son and now Sean and Nicky.​ Chapters only about Stephanie change as the book continues, and the scare factor definitely moves up a few notches. ​My interest in the book was very high simply because of the wonderful writing and story line. The characters were authentic, but it was difficult to believe someone could act that way and think of ways to hurt others.I had my doubts about Stephanie's sanity and motives and about the life she lead. Stephanie was quite gullible and insecure.Emily was a difficult one to figure out, a character I didn't like, and a character I grew to hate. She was conniving and evil.Sean seemed like a nice enough guy that was caught in the middle of everything. ​​A SIMPLE FAVOR is an excellent psychological thriller that kept me guessing and wondering what really was going on in the lives of the characters. ​​Were they honest with each other, honest with themselves, or were they all just fakes?​ Can we really trust or truly believe anyone?The story line became quite intense and very good as the book continued.The wrap up is amazing. A brilliant debut. 5/5This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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  • Amanda McGill
    January 1, 1970
    I'm surprised by my 1 star rating, but reflecting upon the plot this morning, I realized that I didn't like the book at all. It was filled with unlikable characters and the plot was pretty weak if you remove all the fluff surrounding it. Stephanie and Emily are best friends. Emily asked Stephanie one day to pick up her son after school, but then Stephanie doesn't hear anything else from Emily. A search is underway, but Emily is found to be dead. What could of made Emily go missing? Does Stephani I'm surprised by my 1 star rating, but reflecting upon the plot this morning, I realized that I didn't like the book at all. It was filled with unlikable characters and the plot was pretty weak if you remove all the fluff surrounding it. Stephanie and Emily are best friends. Emily asked Stephanie one day to pick up her son after school, but then Stephanie doesn't hear anything else from Emily. A search is underway, but Emily is found to be dead. What could of made Emily go missing? Does Stephanie truly know her best friend?So you have Stephanie, Emily and Emily's husband Sean and boy do they all suck. They all have their secrets, but their secrets don't even make them interesting. They were all flat and did pretty dumb things. I also hated Stephanie's mommy blog that was roughly half of the novel. I didn't like the format and found it odd that people actually read it. Sadly not the novel for me. I was however impressed that it was a debut novel.
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  • KC
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to thank Edelweiss, Harper Collins, and Darcy Bell for the advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review. Stephanie, a widow with a sordid past, and Emily, a seemingly happily married woman, each have 5 year old sons who happen to be best friends. The two women appear to be best friends as well. One day, Emily asks Stephanie for a simple favor. From that moment on this story flip flops back and forth and in and out every possible psychological thriller scenario. You can not I would like to thank Edelweiss, Harper Collins, and Darcy Bell for the advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review. Stephanie, a widow with a sordid past, and Emily, a seemingly happily married woman, each have 5 year old sons who happen to be best friends. The two women appear to be best friends as well. One day, Emily asks Stephanie for a simple favor. From that moment on this story flip flops back and forth and in and out every possible psychological thriller scenario. You can not figure out which end is up, which are the red herrings, or what clues are are vital to this tales dramatic conclusion. It's fantastic to see this debut novel was written by a preschool teacher from Chicago!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Enough of a knock-off of "Gone Girl" to be annoying, and with enough additional, bizarre elements (incest? Really?) to also be annoying. Pass.
  • Dylan
    January 1, 1970
    1 star.The only reason I read this was because I wanted to see the movie starring Anna Kendrick, which is coming out this fall, but after reading this I'm not quite sure I want to watch it anymore. First off, I HATED ALL OF THESE CHARACTERS. Sure, I'm fine with some likeable characters, but with a story that's as big of high stakes as this, you need to be able to root for someone, but I was honestly rooting for the "villain" of the story because I wanted to scream every time Stephanie had page t 1 star.The only reason I read this was because I wanted to see the movie starring Anna Kendrick, which is coming out this fall, but after reading this I'm not quite sure I want to watch it anymore. First off, I HATED ALL OF THESE CHARACTERS. Sure, I'm fine with some likeable characters, but with a story that's as big of high stakes as this, you need to be able to root for someone, but I was honestly rooting for the "villain" of the story because I wanted to scream every time Stephanie had page time.This also wasn't anything special. Just think GONE GIRL....but 5 times worse. And THAT ENDING.....I'm 100% fine with open endings, but it didn't flow well at all and just felt like the author was too lazy to finish the book. Ugh, don't read this. It's trash.
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  • Chrissa Vasileiou
    January 1, 1970
    Η άποψή μου για το βιβλίο στο site "Book City": Μια μικρή χάρη
  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    I really need to not read books that are described as good for fans of Gone Girl, since I was not a fan of Gone Girl. A nasty woman disappears after asking her weak-willed "best friend" to take care of her child after school. A body is later found, the nasty woman is declared and thought by all to be dead, but then the friend starts to have her suspicions.I was so annoyed with Stephanie- the way she talked about moms and to moms like if you are a mother you are a different species. Her blog was I really need to not read books that are described as good for fans of Gone Girl, since I was not a fan of Gone Girl. A nasty woman disappears after asking her weak-willed "best friend" to take care of her child after school. A body is later found, the nasty woman is declared and thought by all to be dead, but then the friend starts to have her suspicions.I was so annoyed with Stephanie- the way she talked about moms and to moms like if you are a mother you are a different species. Her blog was ridiculous. She was ridiculous. I hated that she has the same name as me. Emily was also awful, of course, but because of the comparisons to GG, you knew that there had to be an awful, manipulative woman in there somewhere. Just like GG, I hated the ending. I finished it because I kept hoping that the "fish" would somehow out-manipulate the manipulator, even though I didn't like her.
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  • Vera Brandão
    January 1, 1970
    3,5Vale pelo ritmo frenético da história e as personagens f***ed up que tanto admirohttp://verovsky-meninadospoliciais.bl...
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    I liked how this was written with blog posts. I wish we had a bit more of that. I found that to be quite clever. The plot demands that you suspend a major amount of disbelief, but I think it's worth it. It was fresh and fast and very readable. A strong 3 star book.
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  • Nattie
    January 1, 1970
    I wouldn't recommend this book to a flea, if a flea could read. I hated the blog chapters. They came across as phony and like Stephanie was talking to herself instead of her supposedly loyal followers, and if she had said moms one more time...The other chapters featuring Stephanie were a little better but not much. I thought a lot of the material was tacky and not something I wanted to continue reading.
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  • Lisa Houston
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyed this book. But found it quite long winded at times and because of that it seemed to take forever to read. Definately not a book you could sit and read for ages. Good plot and interesting characters, just felt seeing from everyones points of view dragged it on to much
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  • Γιώτα Παπαδημακοπούλου
    January 1, 1970
    Μια μικρή χάρη... Πόσα πράγματα, άραγε, σ' αυτή τη ζωή, μικρά ή μεγάλα, δεν ξεκινάνε απ' αυτή τη μικρή φράση, συνοδευόμενη πάντοτε από μια παράκληση, που αν και μπορεί να φαντάζει αθώα με μια πρώτη ματιά, στην πραγματικότητα ίσως να κρύβει μέσα της αλήθειες που δεν μπορούμε, ή και δεν τολμάμε, ν' αναλογιστούμε. Μια τέτοια μικρή, απλή, αθώα, συνηθισμένη, καθημερινή χάρη, είναι που ενέπνευσε την Darcey Bell και που την οδήγησε στο να γράψει ένα άκρως ενδιαφέρον βιβλίο, όπου το κοινωνικό δράμα συν Μια μικρή χάρη... Πόσα πράγματα, άραγε, σ' αυτή τη ζωή, μικρά ή μεγάλα, δεν ξεκινάνε απ' αυτή τη μικρή φράση, συνοδευόμενη πάντοτε από μια παράκληση, που αν και μπορεί να φαντάζει αθώα με μια πρώτη ματιά, στην πραγματικότητα ίσως να κρύβει μέσα της αλήθειες που δεν μπορούμε, ή και δεν τολμάμε, ν' αναλογιστούμε. Μια τέτοια μικρή, απλή, αθώα, συνηθισμένη, καθημερινή χάρη, είναι που ενέπνευσε την Darcey Bell και που την οδήγησε στο να γράψει ένα άκρως ενδιαφέρον βιβλίο, όπου το κοινωνικό δράμα συναντά το θρίλερ μυστηρίου, δημιουργώντας ένα κράμα, με πινελιές αστυνομικού, που μόνο αδιάφορος δεν μπορείς να σταθείς απέναντί σου, αφού σε προκαλεί να κοιτάξεις, όχι μόνο την κοινωνία μέσα στην οποία ζεις και να την αναλύσεις, αλλά και τον ίδιο σου τον εαυτό στον καθρέπτη αναζητώντας τις δικές σου αλήθειες.Η Στέφανι και η Έμιλι, αν και καθόλα διαφορετικές μεταξύ τους, είναι οι καλύτερες φίλες. Μητέρες και οι δύο, μεγαλώνουν τα παιδιά τους σ' ένα προάστιο του Κονέκτικατ, με την πρώτη να διατηρεί ένα μπλογκ προκειμένου ν' αντιμετωπίσει τη μοναξιά που της προκαλεί η έλλειψη ενός συντρόφου στη ζωή της, ενώ η δεύτερη έχει μια απόλυτα πετυχημένη καριέρα κι έναν γάμο αξιοζήλευτο. Η ζωή τους φαίνεται να κυλά ομαλά και ήρεμα, μέχρι τη μέρα εκείνη, τουλάχιστον, που η Έμιλι θα ζητήσει από τη Στέφανι να πάρει τον γιο της από το σχολείο, κάτι που εκείνη δεν έχει λόγο ν' αρνηθεί. Όσο, όμως, οι ώρες περνάνε και η Έμιλι δεν δείχνει σημάδια ζωής, τόσο περισσότερο ανησυχεί η Έμιλι, ειδικά όταν εμφανίζονται στοιχεία που μαρτυρούν πως η φίλη της μπορεί να είναι νεκρή. Κι ενώ προσπαθεί να διατηρήσει την αυτοκυριαρχία της για το καλό του παιδιού, μα και ν' ανακαλύψει τι πραγματικά συμβαίνει, με τη βοήθεια του άντρα της Έμιλι, Σον, αρχίσει να πέφτει στα δίχτυα του έρωτά του , κάτι που θα περιπλέξει τα πράγματα ακόμα περισσότερο.Όπως προανέφερα, η Bell έχει καταφέρει κάτι απόλυτα ευφυές. Να παντρέψει δύο διαφορετικά λογοτεχνικά ύφη και να δημιουργήσει μια ιστορία που, στον πυρήνα της, μοιάζει ν' αποκτά δική της ταυτότητα. Με γρήγορη αφήγηση και πολυεπίπεδη ανάπτυξη αυτής, η ιστορία της Έμιλι και της Στέφανι, δεν είναι ένα ακόμα θρίλερ μυστηρίου με αστυνομικές πινελιές, αλλά ένα κοινωνικό δράμα χαρακτήρων, ολότελα ανθρώπινο, απόλυτα πραγματικά, ρεαλιστικά δομημένο. Η Bella μάς προκαλεί να ρίξουμε μια πιο προσεχτική ματιά γύρω μας, να κοιτάξουμε στα μάτια τις γυναίκες της διπλανής πόρτας, ακόμα κι εμάς τις ίδιες στον καθρέφτη, και ν' αναρωτηθούμε αν η ζωή αυτή που ζούμε είναι αυτή που επιθυμούμε ή αυτή στην οποία αρκεστήκαμε, επειδή προσαρμοστήκαμε σε αυτά που κάποιοι άλλοι περίμεναν -και πάντα θα περιμένουν- από εμάς, μέσα στα αυστηρά πλαίσια ενός προτύπου που υιοθετείται και κληροδοτείται από γενιά σε γενιά, όσες επαναστάσεις κι αν γίνουν, όσες αλλαγές κι αν επέλθουν.Η Έμιλι και η Στέφανι είναι φαινομενικά ευτυχισμένες, όμως, στον πυρήνα της ύπαρξής τους, πόσο ισχύει αυτό, πραγματικά; Ποια κρυφά πάθη έχουν βαθιά φυλαγμένες στην ψυχή τους και ποιες εσωτερικές επιθυμίες τους καταπιέζουν; Και, άραγε, μέχρι που είναι ικανές να φτάσουν προκειμένου να πραγματώσουν έστω ένα μέρος αυτών; Τι είναι πρόθυμες να θυσιάσουν; Και τελικά, πόσο αθώες μπορούν να είναι, όταν επιτρέπουν στο πιο σκοτεινό κομμάτι του εαυτού τους να τις κυριεύσει, με τη λογική να συγκρούεται με την ονειροπόληση, απέναντι στην οποία, όταν ο άνθρωπος φτάνει στα όριά του, δεν έχει καμία ελπίδα να νικήσει. Και μέσα σ' όλα αυτά, υπάρχει και η παρουσία του Σον. Μια παρουσία συμπαθητική, διακριτική, που, όμως, δεν είναι παρά το περίβλημα μιας εικόνας που σκοπό δεν έχει άλλο από το να συγκαλύψει τα δικά του πάθη. Γιατί, όλοι είμαστε άνθρωποι, και κανείς δεν είναι τέλειος, όμως, το πόσο σκάρτος μπορεί να γίνει κανείς στην πορεία της ζωής του, αυτό εξαρτάται αποκλειστικά από τις διαδρομές που εκείνος θα επιλέξει κατά την διάρκεια αυτής.Η αφήγηση είναι μοιρασμένη, ανά κεφάλαιο, ανάμεσα στις δύο γυναίκες, κάτι που μας επιτρέπει ν' αναλύσουμε σε βάθος την ψυχοσύνθεσή τους, και γιατί όχι, στην πορεία των εξελίξεων, να κατανοήσουμε τα κίνητρά τους, ακόμα κι αν δεν συμφωνούμε με τις αποφάσεις τους, ακόμα κι αν δεν εγκρίνουμε τις εσωτερικές τους ανάγκες. Μια ιστορία γεμάτη αγωνία, ένταση και δράση, μια ιστορία ανατροπών, μια ιστορία που μας προκαλεί να ξεσκεπάσουμε τις πιο σκοτεινές μας πτυχές, φέρνοντας τις ανάγκες μας αντιμέτωπες με τις ανάγκες όσων βρίσκονται στη ζωή μας, μέχρι που να φτάσουμε στο σημείο χωρίς επιστροφή. Στο σημείο εκείνο που οφείλουμε ν' αποτινάξουμε από πάνω μας τα "πρέπει" και ν' αντιμετωπίσουμε, όχι μόνο τις αποφάσεις μας και τα αποτελέσματα των πράξεων που αυτές θα οδηγήσουν, αλλά την ίδια τη ζωή, με ό,τι συνοδεύει αυτήν. Δεν είναι πάντα εύκολο, δεν είναι πάντα ευχάριστο, είναι, όμως, ο μοναδικός τρόπος να οδηγηθούμε είτε στη λύτρωση είτε στην πτώση μας, αλλά και τα δύο είναι, σίγουρα, καλύτερα από την ανυπαρξία μας μέσα σε εικονική ευτυχία.
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  • Leah Craig
    January 1, 1970
    I’m torn on this one. I think I kinda liked it? But I know I also kinda hated it. I picked this up because of my large and eternal girl crush on Blake Lively. When I heard she was going to be in the movie adaption, I was all over this. I’m still really excited to see Blake play the part of Emily. I just wish the story was a bit... well, better. First off, we figure out Emily’s true nature way too early on, in my opinion. It kind of killed the rest of the tone for me. While my question would usua I’m torn on this one. I think I kinda liked it? But I know I also kinda hated it. I picked this up because of my large and eternal girl crush on Blake Lively. When I heard she was going to be in the movie adaption, I was all over this. I’m still really excited to see Blake play the part of Emily. I just wish the story was a bit... well, better. First off, we figure out Emily’s true nature way too early on, in my opinion. It kind of killed the rest of the tone for me. While my question would usually be what will happen next, this time it was “what’s this crazy b*tch going to do next?” I also found the twin reveal to be boring and overplayed. Like, didn’t the pretty little liars novels do this 15 years ago? Blah. Not impressed. The characters aren’t particularly likable, which is fine for a novel like this, but it gets tiring to read a book where you’re literally rooting for no one. I also didn’t really love Stephanie’s blog as a literary device. It would have been cool if it was set up to establish an unreliable narrator, but instead, we’d have a blog post and then immediately Stephanie would spend the next chapter explaining why what she just wrote in her blog wasn’t completely accurate. I did really like the very end, though. Emily setting Stephanie up on a whim, now that was the best twist of the entire novel. Honestly? If it weren’t for the movie and my girl Blake, I probably wouldn’t have finished this. I think this may just be one of the rare stories that’s better in movie form. I suppose we’ll see!
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  • Tracy
    January 1, 1970
    I'm all over about this book. Ultimately, I thought the plot was intriguing, but I hated everyone in it. These people are crazy! If you don't care if you have empathy for anyone, but you really like good twists and turns and slowly learning characters' motivations, this one's for you.
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  • Sam
    January 1, 1970
    The first character you get to know in this book is - Stephanie, she is a widow, a mother, and a blogger, she blogs about 'mom' things. She befriends the mother of her sons friend, Emily. Emily has a high flying job in fashion and is married to Sean who works away.The pair spend time together, and because Stephanie doesn't work she cares for Emily's son after school. Then one day, Emily doesn't return to collect her son. Sean comes on to the scene and he and Stephanie try to work out where Emily The first character you get to know in this book is - Stephanie, she is a widow, a mother, and a blogger, she blogs about 'mom' things. She befriends the mother of her sons friend, Emily. Emily has a high flying job in fashion and is married to Sean who works away.The pair spend time together, and because Stephanie doesn't work she cares for Emily's son after school. Then one day, Emily doesn't return to collect her son. Sean comes on to the scene and he and Stephanie try to work out where Emily is and jointly care for the children. Emily's body then turns up. I have to say that at this point I almost gave up. Firstly, Stephanie's blog drove me crazy. The over use of the word 'moms' drove me to distraction. Every entry begins 'hi moms' and then goes on to talk about collective 'moms'. I was then put off by the information about the children. Don't get wrong, I like children...I have a few grown up ones of my own. I just felt that there was a little too much information on the impact to them, their feelings etc.Once this first half is over it picked up for me and it became more of a gentle psychological thriller. The pace increases, the use of the word 'mom' decreases and the action begins. The darker sides of the three characters emerge and secrets are revealed, to be frank they are all a bit twisted. It does have some plot twists and it maintained my interest in the second half. I had to suspend believe because some of the twists skirt to the edge of believability and some drop clear off the edge.I think this is a book that will be enjoyed by a number of people, but i couldn't say it was a favourite of mine. I'm between 2.5 and 3 stars but have gone for three because as a debut novel it did keep me reading.I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    *Review to come.
  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    Δε με ενθουσιασε...το βρηκα καπως προβλεψιμο και οτι σε ορισμενα σημεια εκανε "κοιλια"...
  • Dee Ryan
    January 1, 1970
    Centered around Stephanie; widowed blog writing super mother to Miles and her "BFF" Emily. Emily asks Stephanie for one simple favour pick up Nicky her little boy after school and mind him for a few hours....except Emily never comes back to collect her son. This book has everything murder, fraud, incest and three main charachters that you just want to slap. Emily...because she is just downright nasty, Stephanie with her simpering fake niceness and Sean....well he just deserves it. I found it har Centered around Stephanie; widowed blog writing super mother to Miles and her "BFF" Emily. Emily asks Stephanie for one simple favour pick up Nicky her little boy after school and mind him for a few hours....except Emily never comes back to collect her son. This book has everything murder, fraud, incest and three main charachters that you just want to slap. Emily...because she is just downright nasty, Stephanie with her simpering fake niceness and Sean....well he just deserves it. I found it hard to get into the swing of this book mainly because the writing style sways between Stephanie's blog which gives the pretty rose tinted version of events and then real life from the perspective of all three characters. By the end of the book I felt that they all got what they deserved. This was a fast moving book that threw up surprises at every turn and kept you guessing as to what exactly was going on. Overall a great read!
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  • Ângela Costa
    January 1, 1970
    3.5* Este livro não um thriller arrebatador daqueles que nos fica na memória, mas é um livro que agarra. Comecei por achá-lo bizarro, o que foi o suficiente para querer lê-lo com urgência. Dei comigo a ler com um só olho aberto, foi "sono vs curiosidade". É um thriller simples, uma leitura leve, uma partilha de emoções e segredos das personagens com o leitor. Aconselho a leitura a quem tem gosto pela exploração da mente humana.
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  • Judy Collins
    January 1, 1970
    Review to follow. 3.5 Stars
  • Fabi
    January 1, 1970
    Que livro fantástico! Sempre com reviravoltas espetaculares! Gostei muito!
  • DJ Sakata
    January 1, 1970
    Favorite Quotes:She always wears the diamond and sapphire ring that Sean gave her when they got engaged. And because she moves her hands a lot when she talks, I think of the ring as a sparkling creature with a life of its own, like Tinker Bell flying out in front of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.I remember wondering: What counts as an “emergency” in the fashion business? The buttonholes are too small? Someone sewed a zipper in backward?The company sent up a busload of fashion interns, and for an e Favorite Quotes:She always wears the diamond and sapphire ring that Sean gave her when they got engaged. And because she moves her hands a lot when she talks, I think of the ring as a sparkling creature with a life of its own, like Tinker Bell flying out in front of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.I remember wondering: What counts as an “emergency” in the fashion business? The buttonholes are too small? Someone sewed a zipper in backward?The company sent up a busload of fashion interns, and for an entire day, our town was swarming with underweight androgynous young people, all with asymmetrical haircuts and skinny suits, carrying armloads of flyers, staple guns for the telephone poles, and double-sided tape for shop windows. This was the worst thing I’d ever done. By far. And the weird thing was: it felt so liberating. As if I were being absolved for all the bad things I’d done by doing something so much worse.My Review:A Simple Favor provided an intriguing, warped, and heinous cast of characters who were part repulsive, yet continually fascinating in their pathology. Each main character had a trunk full of secrets. While I was curious, absorbed, and entertained by the suspense and twisted nature of the storylines, the callousness of the out of the ordinary and atrocious characters gave me pause - I cannot say that I was drawn to them or even liked them, yet I could not stop reading and couldn’t decide whose narrative I enjoyed more. I did feel pity for poor Sean as he may have started out with a clear heart but had been so taken by his diabolical wife that he allowed himself to be emotionally blackmailed to his ruination. The premise was interesting but patience was required, as the plot developed and unwound at a maddeningly slow pace. Yet I could not put my kindle down. All in all, A Simple Favor was an outstanding effort for a debut author.
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  • SeaBook
    January 1, 1970
    Lidi, tohle byla pecka.Tak skvěle vymyšlený, zpracovaný a působivý psychothriller jsem nějakou dobu nečetla. Autorka si vás skvěle omotá kolem prstu a zamotá s vámi tak, že i po dočtení se nebudete moci rozhodnout, kdo byl vlastně zlý a kdo dobrý... PERFEKTNÍ, rozhodně doporučuji! ♥Hodnocení: 4,5/5*
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  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    A roller coaster ride of psychological drama, secrets, and lies...Stephanie, a single mom, a widow, has befriended the mother of her son's best friend. Emily asks Stephanie to keep her son Nicky while she goes off on a business trip. It's not unusual for Stephanie to keep Nicky overnight and he and Miles have a good time. The problem begins when Emily doesn't return for Nicky. Stephanie, a blogger, turns to Emily's husband, Sean, for answers. No one in this tale is quite the person they portray A roller coaster ride of psychological drama, secrets, and lies...Stephanie, a single mom, a widow, has befriended the mother of her son's best friend. Emily asks Stephanie to keep her son Nicky while she goes off on a business trip. It's not unusual for Stephanie to keep Nicky overnight and he and Miles have a good time. The problem begins when Emily doesn't return for Nicky. Stephanie, a blogger, turns to Emily's husband, Sean, for answers. No one in this tale is quite the person they portray to the outside world...The narrative unfolds and is told in alternating points of view from Stephanie, Sean, and Emily. There are twists and revelations that change the story as the pages fly by. Although I wasn't drawn to any of the characters, none are especially likeable, I was not really sure how I wanted this sorry saga to play out. Just a word to all -- don't be "the fish."I enjoyed it, raced through it, and found it a very compelling debut mystery. I think it would make a great movie! Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the e-book ARC to review.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Please do yourself a favor and don't waste your time on this. I can only describe it as a hot mess.
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