Get Your Free Audiobook

After 30 days, Audible is ₹199/mo. Cancel anytime.

OR

Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.  

After a chaotic childhood, Grace Vermuyden is determined her own daughters will fulfil the dreams denied to her. Lilly is everyone's golden girl, the popular, clever daughter she never had to worry about. So when she mysteriously collapses in class, Grace's carefully ordered world begins to unravel.

Dark rumours swirl around their tight-knit community on the edge of the Fens as everyone comes up with their own theories about what happened. Consumed with paranoia, and faced with increasing evidence that Lilly has been leading a secret life, Grace starts to search for clues.

Left to her own devices, 10-year-old Mia develops some wild theories of her own that have unforeseen and devastating consequences for the people she loves most.

Beneath the Surface explores the weight of the past upon the present, the burden of keeping secrets and what happens when children get caught in the undercurrents of adult relationships.

©2019 Fiona Neill (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

What listeners say about Beneath the Surface

Average Customer Ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Janet biglari
  • 11-10-19

Enjoyable superior family saga

I really enjoyed this book. It was so well written and beautifully narrated by Emilia Fox. The characters were well portrayed and it was easy for the listener to empathise with them. I have not read any books by this author before but will certainly look at her other novels for the future.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-08-19

Fantastic.

Mia’s character is amazing. I love her. The story is a sad one but reflects the mess we get in to as adults, as teens, as children.

Grace was frustrating and annoying at times but I felt a sense of sadness for her too.

Just as a side note. There is no such thing as BPD only trauma. The mum was portrayed as mentally ill when in fact she was damaged. Yes she made terrible mistakes and was a dreadful mum but not because she was mentally ill; it was because she didn’t know any other way, didn’t know how and couldn’t function as an adult.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Katharine Kirby
  • 14-05-20

Superb lockdown listening experience

Emilia Fox at her most gifted - she is gorgeous to listen to - never hurried, every different character's voice perfectly pitched and recognisable. Male, female, children, teenagers - she does them to a tee. The story unreels languorously, it is so beautifully written, deeply descriptive, often amusing, but at bottom heart wrenching with the most exciting finale. Every little clue counts, the Anglo Saxon history is fascinating, really, and getting to know Cambridge and the countryside around was a bonus.

I fell in love with ten year old Mia and felt enormous sympathy for her and her nearly adult sister Lily. Mia has a best friend Taz from the traveller community but she loves her pet eel Elvis as much as anyone. I was concerned for him in his bucket! The issues of bullying and loneliness, academic pressure and first love are very well covered. I was occasionally irritated by Grace but once in Part II, when you get her back story, her obsessive behaviour is perhaps understandable. It seems she may have made a poor marriage although Patrick has his moments. His brother Rob is more successful but he and his wife are childless... There are contrasts and sliding door moments galore.

I chose .9 speed, one down from the default setting and it suited me well. I am new to audible books and am now reliant on them as I live alone and miss the human voice during this crisis. Of all the books I have recently down loaded this is the tip top choice. Emilia reads so attractively, her voice is sweet, soothing and kind. Just lovely.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Joanna
  • 30-10-20

Fen waters run deeper than I imagined

The story is long & involved, I felt it could have been edited down a bit.
There are hidden depths to all the characters, but I found it hard to feel a connection with anyone except Lily.
I felt rather sorry for Mia who seemed to have missed out on the qualities that her sister had (swimming, intellectual ability, friendships) & felt that she must have some kind of undiagnosed learning difficulties.
Their mother Grace irritated me, somewhat less once her backstory was explained.
A feeling of dismay at the human condition came from the sadness of the different plot lines; Patrick & Grace’s marriage, that of Tom & his wife whose name I can’t spell; Lily & Cormac (although a fairly typical first love story which no doubt Lily would get over) and Mia’s rather bizarre existence.
Emilia Fox narrates well and made the story more enjoyable.
Recommended for anyone interested in human life stories, psychology & the fens.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • jackie2735
  • 07-08-20

poor story line

very weak with no conclusion to story lines. The only positive it's that it's read by Emilia Fox

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • I'm all ears
  • 31-07-19

This is heading for a trip to returnsville I think

Haven't been listening for long, but I am not sure if I am listening to a story or doing a 'listen and learn' course on the Anglo Saxons! Too much detail that isnt relevant, skim over it and get on with the story!