AD – This book was gifted for the purpose of a review
Sarah Needs Saving is the debut novel from DCR Bond. The author was inspired by real-life events, although the book is not autobiographical. The book centres around Sarah, a stay-at-home mum whose husband is from a wealthy family. It touches on the class divide and the strange traditions and customs followed by people you might describe as “old money”. It offers an interesting insight into the weaknesses of people from a privileged background. We learn how the family’s elitism holds them back from enjoying life and how difficult it is for an outsider to live up to their expectations.
About Sarah Needs Saving
Having been launched into a completely alien social circle by marriage, Sarah is struggling to juggle all her responsibilities. As a stay-at-home mum, she is expected to act as carer to Mary, her well-to-do mother in law, as well as fulfilling her own role as wife and mother. Meanwhile, the nasty leader of her social circle piles more pressure onto Sarah to take on responsibility for the charity functions she is organising.
To add to the mayhem, Sarah stumbles across Mike, her mother-in-law’s partner who is growing a large crop of cannabis. In the first of a series of poor decisions, she succumbs to the pressure of keeping quiet about it. Thus being dragged into the seedy underworld of drug dealing.
Sarah tries to protect herself, her family and her reputation. Meanwhile, the unsavoury characters she is now associating with try to take all these things from her.
Sarah Needs Saving: Review
Sarah needs saving is extremely readable, despite the lack of likeable characters. The protagonist, Sarah, is a serial victim who comes across as intelligent and strong enough to protect herself. Yet she singularly fails to do so. Her poor decisions are borne out of a desire to fit in with the wholly unlikable family she has married into.
Mary, the mother-in-law, is another strong character. Whilst she is clearly suffering from dementia at the time the book is set, her condescending nature still comes across. Likewise Mary’s partner Mike does have a few redeeming features, notably his love of Mary. Yet he invites trouble into their lives in order to keep up the facade of wealth. Another particularly unpleasant character is Sarah’s brother-in-law, Harry. Blinded by his love of money, Harry lurches from one business mistake to the next. All whilst treating his family with ongoing condescension.
Despite all these rather irritating characters, the book is nonetheless gripping due to its exciting twists and turns. Drug dealing, fraud, a fatal car accident and a child going missing keep the reader on tenterhooks. The book is difficult to put down and yet, it is equally difficult to read. By about halfway through, it is clear that nothing is going to go right for Sarah. Due in no small part to her own poor decision making.
Personally, I do like a book with at least one likeable main character, which Sarah Needs Saving did seem to lack. That said, this is personal opinion and I’m sure others will have a different view on it. I think that fans of the television series Succession will enjoy Sarah Needs Saving. It has a similar style of plot with wealthy, unlikable characters who are their own worst enemies.
About the Author, DCR Bond
DCR Bond (Debbie) is a first-time novelist. Having enjoyed writing as a child, she pursued other avenues as a career. Since giving up the day job, Debbie has embraced the opportunity to write fiction. She writes fiction novels for women in a lighthearted style that is easy to follow and fast-paced.