One night of fun. One deadly outcome.
Low Morrison is not your average teen. You could blame her polyamorous, hippy parents or her dreary island hometown. Or the fact that her first name is actually Swallow (yes, you heard that right) making her the butt of more than a few cruel jokes at school. Whatever the reason, Low just doesn’t fit in – and neither does newcomer Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer from LA.
After signing up for Freya’s pottery class, Low quickly falls under her spell. Buoyed by Low’s adoration, Freya is compelled to share her darkest secrets and deepest desires. Finally, Low feels a sense of belonging… until Jamie walks into their lives. Freya, Jamie and their husbands, Max and Brian, become fast friends, leaving Low alone once again.
Then one night, after a boozy double date, Freya suggests swapping partners. It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, but instead, it upends their lives. And provides Low with the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment.
From the bestselling author of The Party and The Arrangement comes Robyn Harding’s latest domestic thriller, The Swap – a smart, sexy and compelling page-turner that astutely explores toxic friendships, obsession and desire. The Swap centres around Low and Jamie’s relationships with Freya as each of them falls in and out of her favour, driving them closer to the edge.
The story is told by four complicated, flawed, and at times unreliable narrators, who each offer us a perspective as skewed and biased as the next. Throughout the novel, I was constantly asking myself: Who is right? Who is wrong? Or are they all just as bad as each other? Each of the characters possess a distinct and authentic voice with an intriguing storyline that was fascinating to follow – from the narcissistic instagrammer, to the baby-obsessed gift shop owner and the socially aloof teenager who lives in a ‘sex cult’.
I also enjoyed the way Harding sends up millennial culture – Freya and Jamie sip almond milk lattes, bemoan the islands lack of a SoulCycle, and practically live off smashed avocado and buddha bowls. Harding also examines other provocative themes throughout the novel, such as monogamy, swinging, postnatal depression and society’s obsession with social media.
Addictive, suspenseful and a whole lot of fun, The Swap is yet another tantalising, must-read from Robyn Harding. You don’t want to miss this.