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Review of Teddy by Emily Dunlay

This debut is a juicy Roman holiday in a book but there’s also real depth here. Set in the summer of 1969, Teddy Huntley Carlyle is fresh off a plane from Texas ready to start a shiny new life with her shiny new husband and all the luxuries and finer things her heart desires, until her husband puts her on a weekly allowance and starts expecting her to be the model housewife she sold herself to be. The truth of her past cannot come out so Teddy must get better at pretending to be this perfect person. This is where it all gets a little Valley of The Dolls as she starts popping pills to bring her up and down and soon she can’t tell which way is which.

There’s no room for error when your husband works for the American embassy and you’re brushing shoulders with Russian spies. Teddy has lived her entire life trying not to meet the same fate as her wild aunt, but her facade is crumbling and the threat of secrets being revealed is looming... This book encompassed everything I love so deliciously: 1960s blonde bombshell struggling with the pressures of a patriarchal world? Yes please. Emily Dunlay’s writing propelled me through this novel so quickly. We switch between the ‘then’ and ‘now’ of a tragic event and there’s pieces of a huge puzzle unravelling in every segment. There’s a twist that comes at the end which is incredibly dark but also sheds light on a very real experience inflicted upon women who did not conform in this era. This is 4th Estate’s lead summer fiction debut and I can see why. If you’re looking for a holiday read or to be transported to another era, look no further.

Review by Abi.

Teddy was published on 04/07/24 by 4th Estate




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