21 March 2011

The Radleys

Dr Peter Radley and his wife, Helen, live a normal, if uninspired, life in small town England. Their two teens can be moody and aren't popular at school, but that's the way of many teens.

What the children haven't been told is that their family are Vampires. Having made the decision to follow The Abstainer's Handbook (rife with rules like "Be proud to act like a normal human being"), they see no reason to raise the children as anything other than "normal" teens.

While Peter and Helen both struggle with their heritege from time to time, they accept the sacrifices they have made to live a middle-class life and trudge through day after day.

Despite their best efforts, however, their world is turned upside down on the night Clara is attacked by a classmate, instinct takes over, and the unthinkable occurs. A call is made to Peter's rogue brother for help as the family tries to come to terms with this "new" reality and to clean up the (literal) mess.

Among the scores of sometimes formulaic vampire fiction crowding the shelves, The Radleys by Matt Haig is original and entertaining. The chapters are super short, which led to me devouring the book quickly (oh, just one ore chapter before bed...). This novel has enormous teen appeal and might ake a good choice for an intergenerational book discussion group.

I highly recommend The Radleys by Matt Haig and am looking forward to reading more of his work.

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