Review of The Radleys by Matt Haig

The Radleys by Matt Haig
Canongate – ISBN 978 1847 678614
Review by Ben McNair
It is never easy growing up. Trying to find your way in the world, trying to excel in school, and avoiding the bully, being bored by your suburban existence, wanting to escape the one horse town you have found yourself in. It is even worse if you are Vampire, a fact that your parents have helpfully neglected to tell you about.
This is the life of Rowan and Clara, and their parents who have settled for a suburban life because they do not want their children to grow up with the same pressures that they did.
Nature, however, makes her own rules, an when Clara is attacked on the way home from a party, it unlocks the secret for her, her family, her best friend and her father, as well as Manchester’s highly secret Unnamed Predator Unit.
Much is made of Vampire Lore, from the Vegetarian Clara finding her diet radically changed by her new habits, or Rowan finding it easier to talk to Eve, the girl of his dreams, and his sister’s best friend, as well as the School Bully’s girl friend, when he has drunk blood. Will, the Uncle the Children were never told about makes his presence felt, but makes his move on Helen, his Brother’s wife, feeling that he gave up on her and their relationship too soon.
The Radleys is an entertaining read, that continues on from Matt Haig’s previous work, such as ‘The Possesion of Mr Cave’which also looked at the secrets within family life. There are moments of humour and pathos in the book, but it is an easy read, with a mainly linear structure that leads to as happy an ending as you can expect for a family who’s nature means that they have to feed on the blood of strangers to keep living.

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