Published by Dome Press
Publication date – 10 September 2020
Source – review copy
Sophie thought she and Jonah were happy, bringing up their small daughter together, until one summer’s day, she discovers that Jonah is far from the man she thought he was. Sam – an attractive English teacher – seems to offer her some comfort, and new friendships are a support.
But is Sam really who he says he is? Where have her new friends appeared from? Is anyone telling the truth? As Jonah’s lies threaten Sophie and her daughter, can anyone be trusted?
Sophie thinks she has the perfect life. She has a beautiful baby daughter and a man she loves. But when an accident leaves her boyfriend Jonah fighting for his life she finds out that she’s not been living the perfect life, she’s been living the perfect lie.
The book opens with an incident that rocks Sophie’s world. Everything she has known is crashing down around her. With her sister living in Ireland and her mother dead, she has few friends to rely on, and so clings to the friendship offered by Sam and Suzie, passersby who witnessed the accident that left Sophie’s partner, Jonah, in hospital.
I enjoyed the fact that there was police involvement as well as the personal involvement of Sophie. Snippets of the investigation, and that of the “baddies” interspersed longer chapters revolving around Sophie and the fallout of Jonah’s accident.
There were times when the book felt a little long for me, though conversely I thought that the relationship with Sam was very quick to be established. Perhaps one could have balanced the other out but it did speed up Sophie’s recovery from Jonah’s betrayal.
There are some strong characters in the book. Sophie is a little hard to read. On the one hand she is a determined individual, eager to put Jonah behind her but then she has moments where she feels she needs to help him. Sam, as the reader is soon aware, is not all he seems but his generosity of spirit and tenacity is genuine. Then there is Katie, Sophie’s friend and a person who seems to say first and think later, or perhaps not think at all. Jonah is for much of the book discussed rather than appearing on the page in person. The author has made him easy to dislike, which is easier to do the more the pages turn. However, I failed to see what made him so attractive to women, as Sophie’s reminiscences about their relationship made him hard to like. That was perhaps the point, we are immune to his charms and so it is easier to feel relief as we see the blinkers fall away from Sophie’s eyes.
This is not a crime novel, though there is a crime involved. This is not a love story, though there is love involved. It’s more a tale of secrets and lies, and what happens when the truth is revealed.
About the Author
Jean spent several years in genetics research before abandoning the laboratory to pursue a career in academic publishing both in Holland the UK. She has been a database trouble-shooter, an editor, and a writer for publishing houses, pharmaceutical companies and the EU. She has degrees in Botany, Pathology, Philosophy, English, Law and Creative Writing and is currently completing a doctorate in Linguistics.
In her spare time she has campaigned for the environment and read a lot of books, the most memorable being Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, everything by Margaret Atwood and Jeanette Winterson, and a few things by Sebastian Faulks, Calvino, Ian McEwan, David Mitchell and Shakespeare.
She currently lives in a converted barn in the South Downs with her husband and a Heritage Plant Collection, accumulates Christmas tree decorations and aspires to writing multi-genre fiction, travelling on the Orient Express and seeing the Northern Lights.