The Snakes by Sadie Jones

The Snakes PB Jacket Image

‘I wonder if it hurts them to shed their skins,’ she said. She didn’t feel afraid standing in the darkness, imagining snakes, even with the smell of death in the air.

Bea and Dan, recently married, let out their tiny flat to escape London for a few precious months. Driving down through France they visit Bea’s dropout brother Alex at the hotel he runs in Burgundy. Disturbingly, they find him all alone and the ramshackle hotel deserted, apart from the nest of snakes in the attic.

When Alex and Bea’s parents make a surprise visit Dan can’t understand why Bea is so appalled, or why she’s never wanted him to know them; Liv and Griff Adamson are charming, and rich. They are the richest people he has ever met. Maybe Bea’s ashamed of him, or maybe she regrets the secrets she’s been keeping.

Tragedy strikes suddenly, brutally, and in its aftermath the family is stripped back to its heart, and then its rotten core, and even Bea with all her strength and goodness can’t escape.

My Review


A novel that shed’s it’s skin taking it from 3 star to 4 star read that has readers as divided over its controversial ending as they are over their love of snakes themselves!

With some dark themes, this is an in-depth look into an anything but typical dysfunctional family as they come together for a holiday getaway in the hills of rural France. This is a slow burner that will slither under your skin and nest in your brain as it leaves you with a huge pause for thought.

Beatrice Temple and husband Dan live a fairly run of the mill life in their little flat in London, money is tight but things are good. Dan knew that his wife’s family have money but the topic of her family has always been out of bounds. The only member of her family that she actually likes is her deeply troubled brother, Alex.

After a stint in rehab Alex is now the proud owner of a run down hotel in rural France and after renting out their flat, Bea and Dan each pack a suitcase, jump into their beat up car and decided to make Alex’s hotel their first stop on their extended holiday.

Not knowing what to expect their first sights on the hotel is more than either could have imagined. They are the sole occupants of the building, unless you count the nest of snakes residing in the attic. That is until the unexpected arrival of Bea and Alex’s parents. And so begins the beginning of the end for our troubled family as this holiday getaway ends with one member of the family dead and the other members of the family with more questions than answers, pulling them further apart and more deeply divided than before.

This book delves into some dark and emotional topics and shows that money cannot buy happiness and isn’t the answer to everything. As I said earlier, this is a real slow burner and is a more character exploration as opposed to a murder mystery, interspersed with metaphorical as well as the physical snakes and is an utterly stark take on society and the evils that inhabit peoples lives.

This book has divided its readers so it is definitely one of those books that you have to read and decided for yourself and although it is a slow burner it is 100% worth sticking with it and seeing it through, right up to its bitter end!

The Snakes was published back on March 7 2019 and was published in paperback on 20 Feb 2020 so no matter what your preferred format, all formats are now available for you to grab your own copy and decided for yourself.

The Snakes is now a Richard & Judy 2020 Bookclub pick  so grab you copy now here or from your local bookshop for a truly rememberable read and join the discussion surrounding the controversial ending.

A massive thank you to the author Sadie Jones, publishers HarperCollins, Blog Tour Organiser Anne Cater and NetGalley for my copy of this book as well as my spot on the blog tour in exchange for an honest and independent review.




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