3 July 2016
Book Review: After the Lie by Kerry Fisher
Lydia has the ‘right’ kind of friends, her children are at the ‘right’ kind of school and she’s married to the ‘right’ sort of man – kind, steady, reliable Mark. Her wedding business is flourishing and even though she is at loggerheads with her mother, she couldn’t ask for anything more from life.
But the truth is that Lydia has been lucky. She has been living a lie for years and Mark has no idea who he is really married to. But nothing lasts forever and the past has a funny way of catching up with the present. When the person who knows all of Lydia’s dark little secrets turns up at the school gates, his presence threatens to blow Lydia’s life apart.
What is Lydia’s terrible truth? Once the secret is out, you can’t put it back … "
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Another book I have thoroughly enjoyed this year and want to spend a few words raving about is the second novel from author Kerry Fisher. I read her previous novel The Island Escape last year and really enjoyed it, so very much looked forward to diving into this one. The cover and premise looked slightly different to the usual book that I would enjoy, however it sounded brilliant so I decided to give it a go. I'm so pleased I did because it was actually a brilliant read, and I couldn't put it down, a thriller to really get your teeth into!
The story focuses on one woman - Lydia, and her hidden past. She's now an adult, happily married to Mark and the pair have children, and everything seems to be going great. However, when someone from Lydia's past makes a shocking reappearance, it threatens to ruin Lydia's whole existence and expose her lies and secrets to everyone she holds dear. When her children befriend her past friend's children, she knows the likelihood of the secret coming out is getting greater, but will she confess all before it's too late?
I honestly had no idea before I read this book what this mysterious life-ruining secret could be and I loved that - I love a book that can keep secrets from me, and keep me guessing. When it was revealed, I was surprised as it wasn't something that I had expected, and thought it actually seemed to be a secret that you really would want to keep hidden! However, I can't help but think that if Lydia had confessed much earlier in their relationship to Mark it wouldn't have felt like such a cataclysmic thing to blow up and to hide from everyone! It very much goes back to the fact we all make silly mistakes as children or teenagers, something we'd rather forget but it is getting harder and harder to forget these things in the age we are growing up in - are we making sensible choices?
What I loved about this book was the dynamics of it. I found Lydia's family life to be really believable, as if I were reading about a real family, and their trials and tribulations. Her children weren't particularly nice, being typical teenagers and rebelling against Lydia and Mark, and Mark and Lydia's relationship was well written too - I did feel sorry for Mark being blindsided, I certainly found myself taking his side in this book, but still felt sorry for Lydia and what she had been through as well. The arrival of a character from Lydia's past was well written too, I loved how it completely threw Lydia, and although I felt I was meant to dislike Sean, I couldn't bring myself to do so.
There's a lot of drama going on in the book, lots to draw you in and keep you reading, and I found myself absorbed by the story, and thinking how I would react if I were in the same position. Truthfully, I'd probably have hidden it like Lydia, but we all know dirty secrets have a way of coming out one way or another. The only negative bit for the book for me was Lydia's awful mother - I just couldn't reason with her behaviour and thought she was just awful, no-one needs a mother like that, but it certainly added another element to the story and went someway to explaining Lydia's somewhat over-bearing parenting towards her own children! Fisher has written a compulsive, enjoyable and gritty story here, one that you won't want to put down once you've begun. I certainly highly recommend it!