The Darlings – Angela Jackson



This book intrigued me from the second I read the blurb and I am so pleased I got to review it. 


When Mark Darling is fifteen years old, he is the golden boy, captain of the school football team, admired by all who know him. Until he kills his best friend in a freak accident.

He spends the next decade drifting between the therapy couch and dead-end pursuits. Then along comes Sadie. A mender by nature, she tries her best to fix him, and has enough energy to carry them both through the next few years.

One evening, Mark bumps into an old school friend, Ruby. She saw the accident first hand. He is pulled towards her by a force stronger than logic: the universal need to reconcile one’s childhood wounds. This is his chance to, once again, feel the enveloping warmth of unconditional love. But can he leave behind the woman who rescued him from the pit of despair, the wife he loves? His unborn child?

This is a story about how childhood experience can profoundly impact how we behave as adults. It’s a story about betrayal, infidelity and how we often blinker ourselves to see a version of the truth that is more palatable to us


The story is mostly about an affair and how it affects the person committing the affair. 

Mark and Ruby are old school friends who happen to bump into each other at a museum. They click over their reminiscing about the boy Mark killed. There’s a lot of tension, and Mark feels terrible about cheating on heavily pregnant wife, Sadie. 

Does he choose his wife and child or the person who helped him forget that terrible childhood memory?


The characters are well written, and it’s a good story about the other woman believing she’ll win because surely Mark wouldn’t cheat if he wasn’t unhappy. I don’t particularly like Ruby as a character, I just couldn’t warm to her! Mark and Sadie seemed like such a nice couple too so it was doubly hard seeing Mark cheat. 

It was also nice to see a male main character have friends who speak sense and try to make him see what’s right and wrong. 

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