Harriet Cummings – We All Begin as Strangers

It’s 1984, and summer is scorching the ordinary village of Heathcote.

What’s more, a mysterious figure is slipping into homes through back doors and open windows. Dubbed ‘the Fox’, he knows everything about everyone – leaving curious objects in their homes, or taking things from them.

When beloved Anna goes missing, the whole community believes the Fox is responsible.

For the worried residents, finding Anna will be difficult – but stopping the Fox from exposing their darkest secrets might just be impossible…

We all begin as strangers

Rating: 3 out of 5

I just want to take a moment to appreciate the gorgeousness of this book cover. The colour of the fox being the same as the title and the light in the houses is such a clever way to show that the village revolves around him/her/it. The book is inspired by true events, I haven’t looked in too much detail but I’ll be totally honest and say that the whole thing creeps me out. I think that the true events were a lot worse and I don’t want to freak myself out more!

‘The Fox’ refers to an unknown person who has started sneaking in to people’s houses. It doesn’t steal things or even really do much, other than sometimes making a den of blankets (hence the fox name). They can tell it’s been when there’s a slight mud trail, or a whiff of freshly sprayed perfume. The local villagers are obviously concerned but they only realize how serious it is when a local woman goes missing, and they believe the Fox to be behind it.

The story is told from the POV of a few different characters. I didn’t actually like many of the characters at all so I found it quite difficult to get caught up in the story. I can’t fault Harriet’s writing at all – she’s a very talented author and I really enjoyed her style. I felt very on edge and a little violated even just reading the book, almost as if the Fox was watching me as I read. Although I didn’t particularly enjoy feeling that way, I think that’s how Harriet means us to feel reading it so that we’re really living the same emotions as the villagers.

It did only take me a day to read this but I quite often checked how much of it I had to go. I wanted to find out who the Fox was so I kept on reading, but I wasn’t that in to it and I wasn’t satisfied with the ending either. I would happily read the next book that Harriet writes, unfortunately I think that this book was just not for me!

Thank you to Netgalley and Orion Publishing Group for the chance to review this book in exchange for an honest review.






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