Friday, 4 April 2014

The Lies You Told Me by Jess Ruston

Reviewer : Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter (

What we thought : The central theme of the story is secrets and lies. How one deception leads intrinsically to another, and the author does a very competent job showing that the sins of the parents do echo down into the lives of their offspring.
Klara Mortimer has had a difficult childhood. Not difficult in the clich├ęd sense of the word, but difficult as she was raised without the love and protection of a mother. And the feeling that her mother’s disappearance has never been fully explained, leads to a multitude of insecurities in adulthood. When an anonymous letter containing a key arrives, Klara is led into a journey back into her mother’s life and discovers truths she would have preferred remain secret. Her spiralling obsession into finding answers takes her to some dark places, where she begins to believe her whole life has been a sham and she can trust no one. She turns against her husband, Mark - and her father, Henry who she feels has betrayed her in his desire to protect her.

Jess Ruston has a real gift of creating believable, sympathetic characters, that even if we don’t actually ‘like’ them, we feel a connection with their lives and a need to hear their story. Her writing is well-crafted, well-paced, and the attention to detail and ability to examine the dark side of people and situations, gives depth both to the story and the characters. She is also able to deliver a complex and gripping storyline which twists and turns enough to hook even the most difficult reader.

You’ll enjoy this if you like : Maggie O’Farrell, Jojo Moyes, Kate Morton

Avoid if you don’t like : Troubled women.

Ideal accompaniments : Boozy cocktails and a girlie night in.
Genre : Women's Lit

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