Review: Seven Lies – Elizabeth Kay

Seven Lies

Elizabeth Kay

Hachette Australia

Sphere

ISBN:9780751578126

RRP $32.99

 

Description:

Jane and Marnie have been inseparable since they were eleven years old. They have a lot in common. In their early twenties they fell in love with and married handsome young men. But Jane never liked Marnie’s husband. He was always so loud and obnoxious, so much larger than life. Which is rather ironic now, of course.

 

Because if Jane had been honest – if she hadn’t told those lies – then perhaps her best friend’s husband might still be alive . . .

 

This is Jane’s opportunity to tell the truth and, as she narrates their shared history and unpicks each of her seven lies, she reveals the pockets of darkness that have infiltrated their friendship and the toxic secrets still bubbling beneath. It’s a novel about obsession, grief, the dark corners of even the closest friendships and what it means to tell your version of the truth.

 

 

My View:

This is a very disconcerting yet mesmerising read.  The friendships and various relationships depicted in this narrative feel real and everyday yet the behaviour of the protagonist, who slowly morphs into the antihero, (an unusual development in itself) starts out as benign (who wouldn’t tell a little white lie to protect a friend/friendship?) and ends up scarily obsessive and destructive.   The author takes us on a strangely unique journey – from best friend to toxic friend…from the point to f view of the toxic partner.

 

This is a very engaging read and one where a simply depicted act of revenge is disconcerting and horrifying. Snap – a life is over.  This is a very unsettling read.

 

 

Review: The Recovery of Rose Gold – Stephanie Wrobel

The Recovery of Rose Gold
Stephanie Wrobel
Penguin Random House Australia
Michael Joseph
ISBN: 9780241416082

Description:
Rose Gold Watts believed she was sick for eighteen years.

She thought she needed the feeding tube, the surgeries, the wheelchair . . .

Turns out her mother is a really good liar.

After five years in prison, Patty Watts is finally free. All she wants is to put old grievances behind her, reconcile with the daughter who testified against her – and care for her new infant grandson.

When Rose Gold agrees to have Patty move in, it seems their relationship is truly on the mend. And she has waited such a long time for her mother to come home.
But is she still the pliable young girl she once was? And is Patty still as keen on settling an old score?

Because if mothers never forget then daughters never forgive.

A chilling tale of obsession, reconciliation and revenge from an incredible new talent.

My View:
This one completely baffled me – right up to the last few pages and then it still had a few surprises – a great read!

This is a read that will keep you guessing, will have you shaking your head confoundedly, “how could this happen?”, will continually surprise you and you will gasp at the ending.

This is a great read.

Post Script: The Mistake I Made – Paula Daly

Perfect! I loved every minute the book!

cover The Mistake I Made

The Mistake I Made

Paula Daly

Random House UK, Transworld Publishers

Bantam Press

ISBN: 9780593074497

 

Description:

We all think we know who we are.

What we’re capable of.

 

 

Roz is a single mother, a physiotherapist, a sister, a friend. She’s also desperate.

 

Her business has gone under, she’s crippled by debt and she’s just had to explain to her son why someone’s taken all their furniture away.

 

But now a stranger has made her an offer. For one night with her, he’ll pay enough to bring her back from the edge.

 

Roz has a choice to make.

 

 

My View:

Perfect! I loved every minute the book!

 

This book draws you in gently; first we get the poignant history of the life of our protagonist Roz. Her life is busy, exhausting, frustrating and full of financial difficulties (racked up by her irresponsible ex-husband and compounded when her small business fails). Life as a single parent supporting her child and servicing the debts she has have pushed her to the brink of sanity – her story is credible and I do not doubt there are many women in this real life situation right now. To be consumed by financial difficulties sucks the life out of …life.

 

Full engaged in this story of despair and frustration I was shocked when this narrative took a huge turn and suddenly I was in the midst of a fascinating psychological drama! And what a great dram it is – at each turn of the page I was advising the protagonist to back off, keep away, don’t meet up with him – I could see the obsessive controlling nature of this narcissistic beast so clearly – Roz did not seem to notice nor did she hear me.

 

A great narrative, credible characters…I really loved this book! And the conclusion was very satisfying.

 

PS I loved the details re Roz’s work as a physiotherapist – this added such depth to her characterisation and situation.

 

 

Post Script: Alice and the Fly – James Rice

Honest, straightforward, heartbreaking and insightful.

Alice and the Fly

Alice and the Fly

James Rice

Hodder & Stoughton

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9781444799514

 

Description:

A spellbinding debut novel by an exceptional new young British talent.

 

This is a book about phobias and obsessions, isolation and dark corners. It’s about families, friendships, and carefully preserved secrets. But above everything else it’s about love. Finding love – in any of its forms – and nurturing it.

 

Miss Hayes has a new theory. She thinks my condition’s caused by some traumatic incident from my past I keep deep-rooted in my mind. As soon as I come clean I’ll flood out all these tears and it’ll all be ok and I won’t be scared of Them anymore. The truth is I can’t think of any single traumatic childhood incident to tell her. I mean, there are plenty of bad memories – Herb’s death, or the time I bit the hole in my tongue, or Finners Island, out on the boat with Sarah – but none of these are what caused the phobia. I’ve always had it. It’s Them. I’m just scared of Them. It’s that simple.

 

My View:

What a fantastic debut novel – James Rice has captured the essence of youth, loneliness, love, secrets and mental illness and extracted a tale that is simply told yet powerful in its sparseness. Told mainly through the observations in The Fly’s (Greg’s) diary and the police transcripts of their interviews (no spoilers here) we learn about Greg’s spartan existence, his loneliness. Greg’s acute and brilliant observations of the world he lives in are revealing and confronting; told without melodrama, or malice, reported as is, matter of factually, which somehow makes these observations even more powerful. The missing elements in his life, love and kindness – are conspicuous by their absence.

 

The police interviews very quickly alert you/forecast a dire act has been committed and slowly the author teases out the circumstances of this, one diary entry at a time – you will be spellbound, you will be captivated by the unravelling of this story and will not want to put the book down – I couldn’t stop turning pages until I knew the entire history of Alice and the Fly. Then I felt saddened. What an unnecessary sadness; life could have been so much easier. Life could have been so much more for all those involved, Greg is not the only one isolated in this book.

 

Rice writes an exceptional debut; his narrative is calm and clear and bitter sweet and has an authenticity that is undeniable. Greg’s diary entries ring true and elements resonate within us – who has not been bullied – as an adult or a child? Who has not fit in – be it at school or place of work or even in the home? Who has not felt isolated at some point in their life? Who has not stored secrets in the vault of their own mind? There are elements here we can all relate to, there are opportunities here for change and awareness that should not be ignored. Beautifully written with a natural voice that is intelligent and respectful, a narrative that is distilled with an element of realistic optimism…