Veronica and her wealthy husband George are unpacking boxes, hoping a fresh start in their newly refurbished Victorian terrace will help them heal from a recent trauma.
Next door, Simone returns to her neglected council flat. Miserable and trapped, she struggles to take care of her children under the watch of her controlling husband Terry.
When childhood friend Sarah re-enters Veronica’s life, things are thrown even further off balance. As tensions in their own lives rise, the painful memory that binds them threatens to spill into their present.
Three lives collide in this story of family, inequality and revenge.
Selected for Sunday Times Crime Club – July 2020
Selected for Sainsbury's Book Club – July/August 2020
A five-star novel by one of our best writers. I was gripped.
Tense, dark and so real as to be almost unbearable, this novel is utterly compelling.
International bestselling author of Sister and Three Hours
Wayne weaves a book that is at once engrossing and an exploration of what it means to be a woman, a moral person, a parent, and a neighbour.
Author of Starling Days and Harmless Like You
To Dare is a vivid, poignant, and compelling read; Jemma Wayne skilfully weaves her narrative threads tighter and tighter as the story moves towards its nerve-jangling conclusion. I loved it - I couldn't put it down!
To Dare is a superior thriller, unflinching in its examination of class prejudice and in its portrayal of grief. Wayne writes beautifully with scarcely a word wasted. The characters are real and relatable and watching them all go through Wayne's devious wringer is irresistibly entertaining. The final suspenseful chapters had my heart pounding as Wayne's expertly drip-fed plot begins to congeal like spilt blood. I still can't shake the image of the shocking conclusion from my mind.
Jemma owes me a night’s sleep! What a transfixing book. The tension spirals out of control and you have no idea how it will end… It’s clever and well written and I can see how Jemma has been shortlisted for so many prizes.
Author of Thursdays in the Park and The Lie
To Dare is not only a skilful and intimate dissection of the power struggles that exist between female friends in any era, but also a daring exploration of our class divides, and of the most terrifying issues hidden behind closed doors… To Dare is a rare example of fiction that is equally literary and commercial.
Author of The Favourite
Exquisitely written with a fine eye for detail and characterisation. A poignant portrayal of friendship and strangers who have more – and yet less – in common than first meets the eye.
Author of My Husband's Wife and Blood Sisters
In an exploration of very different lives and backgrounds, To Dare is a novel with exquisitely drawn characters and multi-layered prose. Secrets weigh heavily in this beautifully written novel, and they’ll sit with you long after you finish.
To Dare is a tense, fast-paced novel that combines an edge-of-the-seat narrative with an unflinching examination of inequality, jealousy and friendship. Superbly observed, the characters remain in the mind long after the final page is turned. A cut above others in this genre.
WI Life Magazine
Wayne shines creative light on the internal world of her characters, fleshing them out with deft dialogue and interplay... Wayne's novel invites us to reflect on what it takes for women to claim security, to feel complete - and it's mighty compassionate towards the sometimes shaming mistakes we make in order to become so.
The Jewish Chronicle