The Radleys by Matt Haig
Blurbed by Cassandra, Librarian at Mary Jacobs Library
Meet the Radleys: father Peter, mother Helen, teenage son Rowan and daughter Clara. They are an ordinary suburban family. They live a quiet life on a quiet street in a quiet town called Bishopthorpe. The family car is a nondescript SUV which is not too flashy or too dull. Peter’s a doctor, Helen a housewife. Their house is decorated with muted colors, the artwork on their walls consists of soothing watercolors of pastoral scenes, and they have just the right books–that is to say, the books that their neighbors read are on the bookshelves. But all is not perfectly dull in the Radley household.
The Radleys, like many apparently normal suburban families, have a secret, one which Peter and Helen have kept even from their children. They are vampires. Nonpracticing vampires, abstainers, in the lingo–but they are still vampires. Their practiced lies and feigned suburban banality fall apart when shy Clara gives in to her violent nature and Uncle Will, a practicing vampire, visits to unearth the secrets and habits of a sordid, bloody past they thought they could forget. The novel is full of dark humor and wit. Through domestic derangement and vampire lore, Haig crafts a novel that explores denial, hard bargains and the bonds of family.
I listened to the audio version, read by Toby Leonard Moore. I had a difficult time getting into the story but if you are a fan of dark, British humor and twisted tales of vampires that don’t look or act like the characters from Twilight then you will enjoy Matt Haig’s The Radleys.