21 May 2010
Book Review: The Truth About You by Melissa Hill
But what kind of mother would abandon a defenceless baby like that, and why?
Could it have been newly single Nina who, after being rejected by the father of her unborn child, has no choice but to return to Lakeview to stay with her estranged (and slightly peculiar) dad?
Or was it Lakeview-born Hollywood actress Eva Seymour, who on the eve of her triumphant return home from LA, has a completely ill-advised fling with a handsome co-star. A baby is certain to ruin her hard-fought-for career.
Or perhaps it’s happily married Jess who, as the only non-mum amongst her friends, finds herself increasingly left out. Terrified that she will lose them altogether, she embarks on becoming a mother too. But is she really rushing into something she really knows nothing about?
Anyone who visits this site regularly will know that I am a massive Melissa Hill fan and get rather excited whenever I find out she has a new book coming out. Luckily for me, I was sent an ARC of this book to review for the site, and I couldn't believe my luck when it landed on my doorstep! I don't have the pretty cover that you can see pictured on this post, but it's as lovely as the other Melissa Hill covers, and it'll certainly entice lovers of Melissa's books in! This book is actually Melissa's 9th novel, and I think she is one of those authors who just gets better with every book which is a great talent to have! Anyway, back to the review.
As is usually the case with Melissa's books, we have several female lead characters which makes the book multi dimensional and very enjoyable to read. We're first given a bit of background about the missing baby, but nothing that gives anything away which is exactly what I've come to expect from Melissa. The book then moves straight away into introducing us to our 3 leading ladies for the book; Nina, Eva and Jess - 3 very different women leading different lives but united by their somewhat messed up lives. Through all this, we have to figure out just who the baby is who was dumped on Ella Harris' doorstep years ago is and why she's there.
The 3 women in the book couldn't be more different, and my favourite was Nina by far. She's a strong single woman who is coming to terms with the fact she's pregnant and that her relationship has ended too. Hill doesn't shy away from telling us all the emotions Nina is going through so that the reader can really sympathise with her plight, and this certainly works. There is a bit of a controversial twist towards the end of the book but I think it was handled in such a way that it won't offend anyone, and it's important to bring these issues into women's fiction too, so I applaud Melissa for that. Nina's story is very readable, and I love how Hill weaves her in with Eva and Jess, and they certainly are 3 unlikely friends.
Eva is a Hollywood star who is due back home in Ireland for the first time in a while, but things go badly wrong when pictures are printed and published across the world she'd really rather weren't out there. She's a very selfish and quite dislikeable character at first, but then again I guess the author wanted a typical starlet who was all "me, me, me!", and it worked lol! However, the way Hill handles her story as the book goes and the effect on Eva of returning home after all that time is so well done, and I enjoyed this part very well. Jess is likeable enough, but I felt she never seemed happy with her lot. I realise a lot of this was due to her friends behaviour but I felt some of her turn of events were a little uncomfortable, and didn't sit well with me. But however I look at it, it was a good addition to the book because it made me feel that way, and was an important part of the story.
The setting is glorious Ireland, a small village called Lakeview. Melissa Hill always writes so passionately about her home country, and I love imagining the places she describes when I read them. What made it more fun for me was to experience the town through the eyes of Eva as she has a different perspective to the other characters and I loved this. The best part about the whole book for me though was the mystery of who the baby was. Yes, I did manage to guess but only just before it was revealed, and I certainly didn't guess why it happened. The story moves at such a pace you are desperate to know, yet you want to slow it down because you just don't want it to end. I wanted things to work out for all these characters, writing about babies and family is always an emotive subject but Melissa has as ever done it complete justice. It's another superb release from Melissa Hill, and it'll leave her fans desperate for more once you've turned the final page! Brilliant!
You can buy The Truth About You in paperback or on eBook/Kindle (links go to Amazon.co.uk)