Every Vow You Break is the story of one summer in the lives of the Wayland family, parents Lara and Marcus, sixteen-year-old twins Bella and Olly and young five-year-old Jack. As the novel commences, we meet them newly arrived in New York State, driving to Trout Island, which is to be their summer home for the next six weeks as actor Marcus takes up the lead role in a play there. Theatrical friend James has sorted some local accommodation for them. Soon after arriving, they discover that an old friend from England, who is now a very famous actor, is staying under cover nearby.
The story is predominantly about Lara, but it is also about the children, especially the twins, and to a lesser extent about Marcus. Lara is wondering about the direction of life, about the decisions she made early on that led her to become a wife and mother so soon after school, foregoing her promise as an actress to raise her family; 'What could she have been had life not intervened?'. She has hopes of using the summer as a fresh start for her and her family, after the abortion she's just been through, which Marcus insisted on. 'She was going to do everything in her power to get her feelings, and her family, back on track.' This includes trying to fall in love with her husband again. There is a complex relationship between the twins which adds interest. For Marcus, this acting role could be the chance he has been looking for to breakthrough and he is pining his hopes on it. Lara meanwhile has to deal with her feelings towards Stephen, the old friend who is now back in their lives.
I found the initial section engaging, and although I felt the pace in the middle to be a little slow at times, and was willing something to happen, it all builds to an exciting, tense, dark and menacing ending, although with a few ends left open that I wondered about. Thinking back after finishing the novel, I could see that there were a few hints for the reader to spot as to what was to come, which were cleverly included. Overall a convincing and atmospheric read.