21 January 2011

Book Review: Friends, Lies and Alibis by Debby Holt

Alison and Leah were upset when their best friend Merrily disappeared at the height of their friendship when they were teenagers. They never heard a peep from Merrily until Alison makes a chance sighting on a train station and spots the woman that has been missing from their lives for many, many years. When they are finally reunited as a group, Leah and Alison are horrified to see the situation that their best friend has got herself into. Her husband treats Merrily like a second class citizen, and puts down his wife at every opportunity much to her friends horror. Alison and Leah are determined to help their friend escape from her self-inflicted prison, but is it really what Merrily wants, or what her friends want for her? And will Alison and Leah realise that they aren't exactly leading the perfect lives themselves and should start fixing their own before trying to interfere in others...

I have read a few of Debby Holt's books in the past and really enjoyed them, so when I received a review copy of her latest book Friends, Lies and Alibis from the publishers to review, I was quite eager to do so, hoping it would be as good as her previous books that I have enjoyed. I really like the covers of Debby's books and this one is no exception, the bright pink writing contrasts well with the white and blue imaging on it, and I think it's quite nice looking! Overall, I was definitely looking forward to this one and luckily for me, it didn't disappoint!

Our main characters are Alison and Leah.We meet both of them early on, and they lead quite opposite lives despite being best friends. Alison lives quite a well-to-do life, comfortable financially and happy with her husband and 4 children. She's not happy with her eldest daughter's impending nuptials, but Alison being Alison decides to paint a smile on and get on with it. Leah on the other hand is a single mother of 2, after discovering her husband in bed with another woman. He's got a new girlfriend on the go and another surprise coming which Leah knows is going to cause more problems. She just wants a man to love but always puts her children first.

These are 2 nice characters, but I had a real problem with their behaviour really. They were determined that once they were re-introduced to Merrily and discovered how horrible her husband was that they would try and break up her marriage through all sort of means, and didn't really seem to consider Merrily's feelings in the whole thing. Whilst I liked them for the most part, I didn't like these scenes as I didn't approve of their behaviour, and found it hard to agree with what they were doing. Saying that, the character of Merrily was a bit of a drip but in order for the story to be how it is, she had to be quite submissive and passive, especially towards her husband.

The story does have its funny moments, but it also explores some more serious issues as well. Through the story of Merrily and her husband, we explore emotional abuse in the home, and also see the effects someone can have on another person when they constantly wear them down and make them feel worthless, which was hard to read in parts. Through Leah, we learn about broken relationships and the ongoing effects it has on everyone involved, and how moving on can be just as important as looking out for everyone else. I like that Holt effortlessly weaves these serious threads in the story, and they are very sympathetically done, I really thought this was good.

Overall, this book is a really good read, even if the methods used by the characters are somewhat questionable and certainly not something I would encourage! It was well written though, Holt writes about the location of Bath where the book is set with passion, and the friendship between the three characters was very believable and powerful and moved on the story on at a very good pace. I really like Debby Holt's books - they cover important issues and Holt seems to handle these with ease. I thought the book was a good read, somewhat hard to read at times because of the subject matter but nonetheless enjoyable overall!

Rating: 4/5

1 comment:

  1. I did not think I was going to like this book, I am finding it hard to read with all the Characters, however I am enjoying it and looking forward to seeing how the story ends.