Gripping, emotional and harrowing. . .
EXCERPT: A creak on the landing. She curls up. The water swishes loud in the tub; she cringes at the noise. Ted. He’s woken up. He’s woken up and he’s-
The bathroom door flies open. Ted. Eyes bloodshot and wild, blind but seeing, a look full of hate aimed only at her. His nose wrinkles, his hand shoots out in front of him, a starfish of fingers. She shrieks, folds herself smaller still, arms over her head, eyes closed. The smell of whisky goes up her nose, whisky and smoke, sweat and pubs. This is it. She has not got away with it. The punishment is now.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: Thirty years ago, Nicola Watson lived with her parents and older brother in a respectable suburb. At ten years old, she didn’t yet understand why her stomach tightened when she heard her father’s heavy tread as he returned home late at night, or why it made her brother Graham’s stammer get worse, or why one night her mother Carol woke them both, wide-eyed and whispering, and took them out of their home and into the unknown.
Now a successful lawyer in the city, with a life poles apart from her dark beginnings, Nicola has returned home for her mother’s funeral. But as she stands in her mother’s house, remembering the woman who sacrificed everything for her children, Nicola has to confront the guilt that she feels for leaving her family behind. And the belief that she played a part in the events that led to her brother going to prison for murder.
All Carol wanted was to protect her children, but escaping her husband was only the beginning of the story. And when Nicola learns the truth of what her mother did, it will change everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.
MY THOUGHTS: Gripping, emotional and harrowing. This is not an easy read. And not an easy book to review. The setting is as alien to me as if I were to wake up on Mars. A large portion of the book is set on an estate…. now a housing estate in New Zealand is a completely different concept. Lovely homes with manicured lawns on wide tree lined streets rather than cheap housing crammed in together or manky tower blocks where despair is the prevalent emotion and a culture of drugs and violence reigns supreme.
But this is not just a story of abuse and despair. It is a story of a mother’s love for her children, her determination that they will have a better life than hers, and the lengths she will go to to make that happen. It is a story of love and redemption, of learning to grieve, to forgive ourselves, and the lesson that what we see is not always the reality of a situation. It is also a story of how, despite our best intentions and efforts, things can still go terribly wrong.
I spent much of this read in tears. So be warned, a box of tissues is mandatory.
My favourite passage: Maybe love comes in different flavours, like ice-cream. And maybe she is allowed a second scoop.
THE AUTHOR: S.E. Lynes is the Amazon best selling author of psychological thrillers, VALENTINA, MOTHER, THE PACT and THE PROPOSAL.
After graduating from Leeds University, Susie lived in London before moving to Aberdeen where she worked as a producer at the BBC before moving with her husband, Paul, and two young children to Rome.
In Rome, she began to write, snatching time where she could. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University.
She now combines writing, mentoring and lecturing. She has also published two children’s books in Italy.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Lies We Tell by S.E. Lynes for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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