Book Review: We All Begin As Strangers by Harriet Cummings

“It’s 1984, and summer is scorching the ordinary English 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.”


Was this just a prankster, were the villagers safe, or was there a harmful predator at large? The story plays out over one hot Summer and is told from four characters’ perspectives as the real identity of The Fox is unearthed. Set in a quintessentially British village, it captures village life perfectly – a place where everyone knows each other’s business and has an opinion on what their neighbours were doing. The novel makes us question how well we really know our friends and neighbours and whether the community spirit is really all that it seems on the surface.

For me, once the conclusion was unearthed I wish we had heard a little more about the Fox’s backstory and reasoning. I found this a light, easy read – one that would be a great companion for a relaxing, poolside holiday. There’s no doubt that Harriet Cummings is a talented writer, and whilst this book wasn’t necessarily for me (just personal preference as I’m more of a psychological thriller, than cosy crime fan) I’m really keen to see what she does next.

About the Author:

Harriet Cummings is a freelance writer with a background in history of art and gender studies. As a script writer, she has had work performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as independent venues around London. While studying at Faber Academy, Harriet threw herself into her first novel and hasn’t looked back since. She lives in Leamington Spa with her husband and springer spaniel.

Give it a go if you enjoyed: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry or The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

Author: Harriet Cummings

Published by: Orion

Hardback: 320 pages, this book will be published on 20th April 2017 and can be pre-ordered on Book Depository here.


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