Daniel's parents,Tilde and Chris, for personal and financial reasons, have decided to move from England to Sweden - Tilde's birth country. They buy a small farm in an isolated community and look forward to a bucolic retirement.Daniel keeps meaning to visit, but for his own reasons, keeps putting it off, believing his parents are happily pursuing their dream.
But when his father calls saying his Mum isn't well and has in fact has been hospitalized, he is shaken. Then his Mum calls, saying she has fled Sweden - and Chris - and is on her way to see him in England. She is cryptic, saying she will only reveal what has been going on in when she gets there. But, he must believe her.....his father is dangerous and her life is in danger....If he doesn't believe her, he is no longer her son.
What a great premise! Smith slowly lets Tilde tell her carefully documented story, complete with her proof. The reader is inexorably caught up in Tilde's slowly built case. But Daniel is torn - this is not the father he knows. Could his mother be mistaken? The reader is never sure of what is the truth - Tilde's 'evidence' seems quite plausible, but her manic paranoia makes her an unreliable narrator.
I really enjoy this style of book - not knowing who is telling the truth, trying to find the thread of what has truly happened in the narrative. I thought Smith did a fabulous job with this.
It was only after I finished the book and was reading more about Tom Rob Smith, that I discovered that the inspiration for The Farm was his from his own life. (Spoiler if you click through). In fact, this book is a mirror of that situation - underlining why I thought the writing was so compelling. While Smith's personal situation was resolved much quicker, the fictional tale had me wondering until the final pages what was real and what would happen.
I really enjoyed The Farm - read an excerpt. I thought the book trailer was excellent as well.... You can keep up with Tom Rob Smith on Facebook and on Twitter.