“Everyone has moments of their past that they would like to forget. We all have hidden mistakes, misjudged cruelties, careless blunders somewhere in our murky histories. Sometimes these episodes are common knowledge, fodder to be trotted out at family parties. Sometimes, thank god, we are the only ones who know about (or care to remember) them at all. And sometimes there are just a few of you who are bound together by the shamefaced recollection, raising your eyebrows and grimacing at the memory.
But what happens when your youthful mistake wasn’t getting too drunk at that wedding, or a shameful playground taunt, but something that has the power to ruin you? An incident that overshadows your life and that binds together those of you that know for the rest of your days?
After the success of the Sunday Times bestselling The Boy That Never Was we at Penguin couldn’t wait to see what Karen Perry had in store for us next. And when we heard the premise of Only We Know we knew it was going to be good. This story sucks you into the world of Luke, Nick and Katie and what they did on that hot summer’s day back in 1982, their summer in Kenya that was never spoken of again. Something that you slowly come to realise was more than just an unlucky error or an embarrassing slip-up. And which, despite a lifetime spent with cards close to their chests as they drifted out of each other’s lives, they are not, as always supposed, the only ones who know.
Not only was the mystery compelling enough to keep me up for a large portion of the night saying ‘just one more chapter’, but in true Karen Perry style every line felt weighted and crafted with care. The relationships are so real and flawed that you forget that you are not, in fact, part of this mess and you are free to walk away at any time. It raises questions about friendship, youth, mistakes and you look back at your own past with relief. The small secrets in your lives which bind you to others will seem like nothing. Because anyone could be involved in a childhood game gone wrong. Anyone can be one that knows. This is a book that will haunt you, one that you won’t forget after you have put it down and, hopefully, one that you will press into the hands of all of your friends. And while you do, you will, of course, be wondering what secrets they have of their own to hide…”
Eve Hall, Editorial Assistant at Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House.