Title: The Radleys
Author: Matt Haig
Publisher: Free Press 2011
Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Reading Challenges: Vampires; Mount TBR
Just about everyone knows a family like the Radleys. Many of us grew up next door to one. They are a modern family, averagely content, averagely dysfunctional, living in a staid and quiet suburban English town. Peter is an overworked doctor whose wife, Helen, has become increasingly remote and uncommunicative. Rowan, their teenage son, is being bullied at school, and their anemic daughter, Clara, has recently become a vegan. They are typical, that is, save for one devastating exception: Peter and Helen are vampires and have—for seventeen years—been abstaining by choice from a life of chasing blood in the hope that their children could live normal lives.
Such a moody vampire story. In many ways, it is a coming of age story. It just happens that the people involved are vampires. I loved seeing the story from the vampire perspective. What would happen if you were a vampire, but didn’t know it? What happened when you found out? How would you react? I especially loved Rowan. In many ways, he’s the traditional romantic style vampire, but doesn’t know it. This book is a refreshing change form the Twilight style vampire story. BTW the author questions at the back reveal that Matt Haig sees Robert Downey Jr. as Matt Radley. Delicious choice! I would love to see this book turned into a movie.