Book Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

Vox

Lots of friends had raved about Vox in our Facebook ‘book club’ – and when we had our inaugural real life book club (basically just a few of us in the pub, drinking gin and chatting about books!) I was lucky enough to be lent a copy.  I’m always nervous when people have loved something, what if I don’t, and then they think I’m weird?!  But one of my best friends said it was the first book she’d got truly invested in since Eleanor Oliphant, I had high hopes!

Here’s the blurb:

“Silence can be deafening.

Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more, and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins.
Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you’re a woman.
Almost overnight, bank accounts are frozen, passports are taken away and seventy million women lose their jobs. Even more terrifyingly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write.
For herself, her daughter, and for every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. This is only the beginning…

[100 WORD LIMIT REACHED]”

I need not have been concerned – I also really enjoyed Vox!

It’s set in the US and feels like it could be the present day.  Whilst the premise is that society in America has changed and all women and girls can only speak 100 words a day – and initially that sounds ridiculous – but when you see the back story and how it’s developed, it is also worryingly possible………..

The link between the President and his team and religion is reminiscent of the current situation across the Atlantic.  I usually steer clear of religion and politics on social media – but it’s intrinsically part of this book.  The establishment believe that a woman’s place is solely in the home caring for her family – and consequently girls don’t need to be taught to read and write – and maths skills are only for weighing out cooking ingredients etc.

That is until the aforementioned establishment need Jean’s work skills from her previous life as a scientist!

The book follows what happens next and Jean’s relationships with her family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and those in power.  It is BRILLIANT.  So clever and intricate – but also so horribly, horribly plausible.

Jean was clearly a super intelligent, high achieving woman before these rules were put in place – and struggles massively with authority – but I don’t want to give away any spoilers…..

I found the relationship with her eldest son the most interesting – and also really disturbing……

I’ve read that the booked is a reworking of The Handmaid’s Tale – but I haven’t read that so can’t really comment – but as a standalone book, I really enjoyed it.

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: Those People by Louise Candlish

Those People

Last year I read the fabulous Our House by Louise Candlish which I loved – and so did loads of other people and it’s subsequently won awards!  So when I was emailed by the publisher a few weeks ago to see if I’d like an advanced review copy on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance!

Here’s the blurb:

“You don’t like them. They’re not like you. Are you one of Those People?
Until Darren and Jodie move in, Lowland Way is a suburban paradise. Beautiful homes. Friendly neighbours. Kids playing out in the street. But Darren and Jodie don’t follow the rules and soon disputes over loud music and parking rights escalate to threats of violence.
Then, early one Sunday, a horrific crime shocks the street. As the police go house-to-house, the residents close ranks and everyone’s story is the same: They did it.
But there’s a problem. The police don’t agree. And the door they’re knocking on next is yours. “

The story is set on a suburban London street – it is so terribly middle class – with ‘play out Sunday’ organised by some of the parents, and some typical alpha female mothers.  I have to say it reminded me quite a lot of our village (mentioning no names).  When we moved into our house almost 14 years ago there had been upset about them being built, and we were known as one of ‘those people’ in one of ‘those houses’ for quite a while!!

Back to the book!

Some new neighbours move in – who the existing residents immediately look down their nose at – and there are issues with parking and noise and dog poo (honestly, it could be our village Facebook page…….)

But then disaster strikes (no spoilers here, although it wasn’t what I expected) and the road becomes infamous.

Each chapter is told from the perspective of a different resident of the street – and it’s interesting to see how their stories all interlink – and the relationships, publicly and behind closed doors, being revealed.

I have to say that I didn’t really take to any of the characters – but that didn’t detract from the book at all – I was really keen to find out what was going on and read through it quickly to keep the pace.

The twists and turns are great – and you’re never quite sure who you should be siding with.

I also liked the use of modern communication methods – the residents Whatsapp group (all our neighbours in ‘those houses’ have iphones, so we have an imessage group!) and the Facebook pages for the various local community groups. It just felt very true to life in 2019.

Whilst there wasn’t a final shocking sentence, as there most definitely was in Our House, the last chapter does leave you wondering what would happen next!!

I would definitely recommend this when it comes out in June.

 

 

 

Book Review: How It Ends by Saskia Sarginson

How It Ends

*Showing off* I was emailed by the publisher to see if I’d like to have an advanced review copy of this book, as they noticed I’d read similar on Netgalley before.  Clearly this made me feel like some sort of social media book influencer – like I should be taking arty photos of the new book with a fancy filter, and perhaps an avocado in shot – so of course I said yes.  I’ve never knowingly turned down a free book – which in some instances I probably should have – so I did at least check the blurb before I said yes this time (I’ve learned from having to read a dire book last year to ensure my Netgalley stats didn’t suffer!)

Here is the blurb:

“1957: Within a year of arriving at an American airbase in Suffolk, the loving, law-abiding Delaney family is destroyed. Did they know something they weren’t allowed to know? Did they find something they weren’t supposed to find? Only one girl has the courage to question what really went on behind closed doors . . .

Hedy’s journey to the truth leads her to read a manuscript that her talented twin brother had started months before he died, a story inspired by an experience in the forest surrounding the airbase perimeter. Only through deciding to finish what her brother started does Hedy begin to piece together what happened to her family.

But would she have continued if she’d known then what she knows now?

Sometimes, it’s safer not to finish what you’ve started…”

The book starts in the mid 50s (although has flashbacks to the second World War) when the Delaney family are posted to Suffolk from their current base in Iowa.  The descriptions of the different settings are excellent – and having been to military accommodation (although UK forces not US) it did all ring true.  However, I have one bug bear from the start of the book (which is possibly a bit pedantic!) but it involved white goods.  A big fuss is made about there not being a fridge in the UK house – and Ruby wants to use hers that she’s brought from the US – so a colleague arranges for a car battery to be put in the kitchen so the fridge can be powered.  This is then never referred to again – and yet a big deal of it was made initially – just seems like a bit of a white elephant reference, with the world’s never ending car battery saving the day. Then a few chapters later the family are ‘stacking the dishwasher’ after a meal.  So – the kitchen didn’t have a fridge but did have a dishwasher, in 1957 rural England.  It just didn’t sit right – and that put me on edge (which I appreciate is possibly just me overthinking and I probably should have just gone with it………..)

The first part of the book is very gentle, setting the scene – and filling in the back story of the Delaney family.  The parts about Christopher’s scoliosis are written beautifully – and how caring his Mum and twin sister Hedy are is clearly evident.

Slowly, though, things disintegrate.  I’m not going to give away any spoilers – but big stuff happens!

The second part of the book follows Hedy’s life at her Uncle’s farm – which is where her Mum, Ruby, grew up – although had been estranged from her UK family since before the twins were born.  This section was much more fast paced – both in the speed of the writing and the years that are jumped through. Again the writing really evoked the feel of a run down farm and the hard work involved in working it.  The intertwining of previous parts of the story is done really well.

There are some big themes running throughout the book – family, illness (physical and mental), sexuality, love (seemingly unrequited in some cases), responsibility, to name but a few – and these are all written really well and keep you absorbed.

The ending ties up lots of loose ends, which I always like in a book.

Moving on from my white goods issues and thus initial suspicion – I did really enjoy this book.

I’ve ended up not finishing this until after the date it was published – but at least that means you can go and order it immediately if you want to!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Permission by Saskia Vogel

You know how sometimes a book acts as a huge brake on your reading list – well, this has been one of those for me – it’s taken me 6 weeks to get through what is essentially a ‘novella’ ………..

I’d seen the book in Stylist Magazine’s list of books for March  (As a total aside – and not relevant to the review at all – way back in the mid / late 90s I was good friends with one of the older sisters of the now Stylist Magazine book editor #quitealooseclaimtofame)  As ‘Permission’ hadn’t been published yet – I hopped on to Netgalley and requested it – and was sent an advance review copy – yay!

Now – here is where the problems start (all of which are self induced!)

The ARC couldn’t be sent in a Kindle friendly format – so I would either have to read it on my desktop (impractical), phone (too small) or another Apple product.  I found an old ipad (literally, an original one from many moons ago) and charged it up – and managed to successfully download the book to it.  However, it also had Candy Crush on the ipad – which I had removed from my phone years ago due to a massive time wasting addiction………..

Permission

I also hadn’t read the blurb – only the couple of sentences on the Stylist website – and so wasn’t sure what to expect.  Here is the blurb I hadn’t read:

“A raw, fresh, haunting, emotionally and sexually honest literary debut.
When Echo’s father gets swept away by a freak current off the Los Angeles coast, she finds herself sinking into a complete state of paralysis. With no true friends and a troubled relationship with her mother, the failed young actress attempts to seek solace in the best way she knows: by losing herself in the lives of strangers. When by chance Echo meets a dominatrix called Orly, it finally feels like she might have found someone who will be nurturing and treasure her for who she is. But Orly’s fifty-something houseboy, Piggy, isn’t quite ready to let someone else share the intimate relationship he’s worked so hard to form with his mistress.

Permission is a love story about people who are sick with dreams and expectations and turn to the erotic for comfort and cure. As they stumble through the landscape of desire, they are in a desperate search for the answer to that sacred question: how do I want to be loved?”

I often read whilst lying next to my 7 year old willing her to go to sleep – and somehow reading about BDSM when she could glance over at the ipad felt a bit inappropriate – so I didn’t tend to read it then.

I also often read whilst on the loo (I have blogged about my bowel issues before – #TMI) but kept being tempted by a few games of Candy Crush, just to use up my 5 lives, before I started on the novel – I am truly an addict.

So – what should have been a few hours read has turned into weeks on end, but I finally finished it this weekend.

Firstly – the writing is beautiful and really evocative of the Californian coast, and you really feel for Echo after the loss of her father and the strained relationship with her mother.  However, I just didn’t really get the whole BDSM stuff – and some of the writing around it was a bit weird.  It really wasn’t my bag at all – which is possibly why I was so easily distracted and didn’t devour it within hours, like other Netgalley readers have said they did.

It feels quite a ‘different’ book – how I felt about The Goldfinch when I read that (but thankfully it’s a tiny tiny fraction of the number of pages than Ms Tartt’s tome!)

I can see this being quite a marmite book – and I am definitely in the ‘don’t like’ camp.

Now, I’m going to hide the ipad again, let it run out of battery life, and NEVER WASTE TIME PLAYING CANDY CRUSH AGAIN!!!

 

 

 

 

Book Review: After The Last Dance by Sarra Manning

After The Last Dance.jpg

I am a sucker for a bargain – and Sarra Manning, who I know through being a Red Magazine subscriber, where she tells me what to read each month – mentioned on Twitter that this book from her back catalogue was a good deal on Kindle, so I downloaded it.

Here is the blurb:

“After the Last Dance: Two women. Two love affairs. One unforgettable story

Kings Cross station, 1943. Rose arrives in London hoping to swap the drudgery of wartime for romance, glamour and jiving with GIs at Rainbow Corner, the famous dance hall in Piccadilly Circus. As the bombs fall, Rose loses her heart to a pilot but will lose so much more before the war has done its worst.

Las Vegas, present day. A beautiful woman in a wedding dress walks into a seedy bar and asks the first man she sees to marry her. When Leo slips the ring onto Jane’s finger, he has no idea that his new wife will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

So when Jane meets Rose, now a formidable older lady, there’s no love lost between them. But with time running out, can Rose and Jane come together to make peace with the tragic secrets that have always haunted their lives?”

It sucked me in right from the start.  Initially the stories are very separate, and I was guessing how they might come together – but it’s not obvious – and there are twists and turns throughout the book.

I enjoyed the wartime setting for Rose – and thought it was very well written and really evoked the feeling of London during the Blitz.  Equally the chapters set in the present day were also great – and felt very different – as I guess they should.

The back stories for Rose – and how she got from the innocent teenager to the formidable businesswoman – and on a smaller timeline for Leo and Jane – were cleverly revealed as the book went through.

I felt the flipping from one time period to another kept a real momentum through the book and kept me wanting to read just a little bit more each night.

Overall I really enjoyed the whole book – and felt it well written and structured with excellent content – which makes me want to read other books by Sarra Manning.

 

 

 

Book Review: Absolutely Smashing It by Kathryn Wallace

Absolutely Smashing It

I have come across Kathryn Wallace’s postings on social media before – where she writes under the name ‘I Know, I Need To Stop Talking’ with some hilarious parodies of the omnipresent (if you have small children starting to learn to read) Biff, Chip and Kipper Robinson (slight show off that I know their surname!!) and other musings on life as a parent.

Then my oldest friend (oldest as in she came to visit me in hospital when I was born rather than in her own age being substantial!) noticed that the publisher had tweeted to see if any book bloggers wanted an advanced review copy – and she suggested me!  Never one to turn down a free book, I immediately sent my details, and the book arrived the very next day!

Here is the Amazon blurb:

”  “SAM! AVA! Get downstairs, NOW. Have you done your TEETH? HAIR? SHOES? Come on, come on, come on, we’re going to be bastarding late again. No, I haven’t seen Lego Optimus Prime, and nor do I give a shit about his whereabouts. Sam, will you stop winding your sister up and take this model of the Shard that I painstakingly sat up and created for you last night so that I wouldn’t be in trouble with your teacher. I mean, so that you wouldn’t be in trouble with your teacher. No, it doesn’t smell of ‘dirty wine’. Well, maybe it does a little bit. Look, Sam, I haven’t got time to argue. Just hold your nose and get in the car, okay? AVA! TEETH! HAIR! SHOES!”

Gemma is only just holding it together – she’s a single parent, she’s turning 40 and her seven-year-old daughter has drawn a cruelly accurate picture which locates Gemma’s boobs somewhere around her knees. So when her new next-door neighbour, Becky, suggests that Gemma should start dating again, it takes a lot of self-control not to laugh in her face.

But Becky is very persuasive and before long Gemma finds herself juggling a full-time job, the increasingly insane demands of the school mums’ Facebook group and the tricky etiquette of a new dating world. Not only that, but Gemma has to manage her attraction to her daughter’s teacher, Tom, who has swapped his life in the City for teaching thirty six to seven year olds spelling, grammar, basic fractions – and why it’s not ok to call your classmate a stinky poo-bum…

It’s going to be a long year – and one in which Gemma and Becky will learn a really crucial lesson: that in the end, being a good parent is just about being good enough.”

 

As expected, the book is all about the stresses and strains of parenthood – and is pretty sweary! It is true to life in lots of ways – everyone who has waited in a playground can identify the different types of parent! And feels quite similar in genre to lots of the Mummy bloggers who have gone on to write books (such as Why Mummy Drinks ) – but I guess parental experiences are quite similar, so that’s why they feel alike.

I liked Gemma and wanted everything to work out for her personally – not just as a mother and as an employee, but as an individual too.  Her friendship with Becky was also explored  – and definitely shows the importance of having Mum friends that you actually want to be friends with – not just because they have children the same age.

This book is not going to set the literary world alight – it is a simple, easy, non-challenging read – but sometimes that’s what you want after a long day of parenting.  There are some laugh out loud moments (so much so that I was told off by the 7 year old for making her bed shake when reading it one evening as trying to get her to sleep!) and I didn’t regret reading it – but I’m not sure #absolutelysmashingit has been achieved.

Thank you very much to the publishers for my free ARC – and the book has now made it’s way across the Irish Sea to the aforementioned oldest friend for her to read too.

It’s released on 7 March 2019.

 

Book Review: Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Don't You Forget About Me

 

I LOVE Mhairi McFarlane and have read all of her back catalogue.  In fact, I have signed copies of all of her books after a prosecco-fuelled bid on a charity auction lot last year…….. I’ve been lucky enough to have been sent advanced review copies before – but somehow I must have fallen off the radar, and I didn’t notice it on Netgalley – and so it wasn’t until this was published that I realised there was a new book!  I immediately downloaded it – not begrudging paying for once, as I had high expectations – as I have loved all of the historic books.

Here’s the Amazon blurb:

“It began with four words.

‘I love your laugh. x’

But that was twelve years ago. It really began the day Georgina was fired from The Worst Restaurant in Sheffield (© Tripadvisor) and found The Worst Boyfriend in the World (© Georgina’s best friends) in bed with someone else.

So when her new boss, Lucas McCarthy, turns out to be the boy who wrote those words to her all that time ago, it feels like the start of something.

The only problem? He doesn’t seem to remember Georgina – at all…”

 

I was completely correct not to have begrudged spending hard earned cash on this – it was excellent – and possibly my favourite Mhairi McFarlane to date.

It flashes back to sixth form – and I can soooooo remember that time, and it really evoked those memories (despite being a very long time ago for me!) and then the present day when Georgina is initially working in an awful Italian restaurant.  I really liked Georgina – although did want to give her a shake a couple of times!

The relationships with her extended family were described brilliantly, and similarly that with her friends and colleagues – you really feel like you get to know everyone.  The passive aggressive notes from her housemate were a particular favourite!

The ending is brilliant (the friendship group reminds me quite a lot of Bridget Jones – but in a good way, not a copying way!) and I loved it.  As with many of Mhairi’s books I want a sequel or a spin off, pretty please??

I like the fact that whilst this is ‘chick lit’ it is bloody well written, structured and uses long words!  It’s an easy read – but feels like time has been invested to make it a decent quality book.  It had me crying with laughter – and then sobbing with high emotion – which has to be the sign of a good book?

It’s out now on Kindle (and a bargain at just 99p) – or next week in paperback – so treat yourself!

 

 

 

Book Review: The Mum Who Got Her Life Back by Fiona Gibson

The Mum Who Got Her Life Back

 

I’ve enjoyed Fiona Gibson books historically – and as I was about to start her previous one,  The Mum Who’d Had Enough, I noticed this new one was available on NetGalley to download as an advanced review copy – so I jumped at the chance.  However, I then didn’t love The Mum Who’d Had Enough as much as I’d hoped, so wondered if I would regret my decision……

Here’s the blurb:

“When her 18-year-old twins leave for university, single mum Nadia’s life changes in ways she never expected: her Glasgow flat feels suddenly huge, laundry doesn’t take up half her week, and she no longer has to buy ‘the Big Milk’. After almost two decades of putting everyone else first, Nadia is finally taking care of herself. And with a budding romance with new boyfriend Jack, She’s never felt more alive.

That is, until her son Alfie drops out of university, and Nadia finds her empty nest is empty no more. With a heartbroken teenager to contend with, Nadia has to ask herself: is it ever possible for a mother to get her own life back? And can Jack and Nadia’s relationship survive having a sulky teenager around?”

I am DELIGHTED to say, I enjoyed this book immediately.  My sister has just waved my eldest niece off to Uni – and so the first bit of this reminded me of when they did the whole dropping off at halls thing.  I LOLled.  (I have a couple of years before this becomes my reality – but as it will be the first of 4, I’m not too worried about the whole empty nest thing as yet!!)

There are many different settings throughout the book.  Glasgow – obviously, but also the Ayrshire coast and Barcelona – so it was good to reminisce about various trips we’ve been on (although Nadia didn’t get to see a naked bloke strolling along the beach in Barcelona, so I do feel she missed out a bit! #holidayflashbacks #notjustthesangriahonestly)

It was a really ‘nice’ book.  Sometimes the characters were a bit annoying – but no one was particularly unpleasant.  There were some crossed wires (and I wanted to give people a good shake!) but overall it was a lovely read.

This is a fun, easy read – which is sometimes exactly what you want / need.  Nothing too taxing – but enjoyable.

Thanks to Netgalley for my advanced review copy in exchange for a fair review.

 

 

Book Review: How To Own The Room by Viv Groskop

How to Own the Room

Viv Groskop has been on my radar for years.  Initially as the person who told me what to read in Red Magazine each month.  Then we had our 3rd children within weeks of each other and exchanged messages on social media about that.  (I had children 2 and 4 within days / weeks of Victoria Beckham, but she was a much less communicative pregnancy twin, although clearly we looked practically identical………)  I’ve always made a conscious effort to seek out Viv’s writing and podcasts (most recently for the dearly departed ‘The Pool’).   I was therefore aware she’d written this new book ‘How To Own The Room’ but had decided it wasn’t really relevant to my day to day life anymore (fool!) as I no longer have to do big presentations or sales pitches as I’d done in my previous working life.

Then my Nan died.

This did not  prompt a Damascene moment, when I decided I should try my hand at being a stand up comedian, or start giving Ted Talks – but I volunteered, as eldest of my sisters,  to speak at the funeral.  I have a 2 minute slot (strictly policed, as we will be fined if we run over at the crem) and I need to make sure I say everything without just weeping – so I was hoping for some advice from Viv’s book.

Here’s the blurb:

“Most books about public speaking don’t tell you what to do when you open your mouth and nothing comes out. And they don’t tell you how to get over the anxiety about performance that most people naturally have. They don’t tell you what to do in the moments when you are made, as a woman, to feel small. They don’t tell you how to own the room. This book does. 

From the way Michelle Obama projects ‘happy high status’, and the power of J.K.Rowling’s understated speaking style, to Virginia Woolf’s leisurely pacing and Oprah Winfrey’s mastery of inner conviction, what is it that our heroines do to make us sit up and listen – really listen – to their every word? And how can you achieve that impact in your own life? Here’s how.”

 

And I wasn’t disappointed!  It was funny, informative, empowering, brilliantly written and really inspiring.  I liked the clever idea of bringing in a different public speaker into each chapter*.  Having just read Michelle Obama’s autobiography I was intrigued by that chapter and how Viv interpreted her changing speaking style over her husband’s tenure and as she gained experience.

But I also liked that the book was very much about finding your own voice – so JK Rowling has a very different, but still effective style to Mrs Obama – and then Angela Merkel is different again.  Even if you don’t speak German, you can guess she’s not going to be wise cracking her way through speeches – but speaks with an organised, calm, in charge demeanour.  I need to find a Mrs Merkel speech on Youtube to notice the finger temple Viv refers to as well!

There’s also practical help.  From power poses (to be done in private in advance of speaking, I don’t plan to be stood at the front of the crematorium like a power hungry politician!) to breathing through your feet.  Viv also talks about practicing loads (which I have done, and made my youngest sister cry on the phone when I practiced on her!) And also about recording yourself to watch yourself / listen to yourself back.  I haven’t done this as yet – and know I will be shocked at how Brummie I sound……

Similarly there’s practical advice about the structure of a speech.  My 2 minutes opens with a joke (Viv actually says a funeral speech is the one time you wouldn’t be expected to do that – but I think it will be fine!), has three themes and then a conclusion.  I am such a teacher’s pet………

Whilst I have memorised my 2 minutes (actually about 1 minute 50 seconds in case there are any LOLs from the congregation) I have it printed out as a security blanket.  Having recently attended Nan’s brother’s funeral – I know I, along with everyone else in the church, was willing his son and Grandson to get through their speeches without breaking down – and I know that it will be the same when I’m stood up there, that the other attendees will want me to speak well and are all there because they loved my Nan – but being prepared is also fundamental.

All in all, reading ‘How to Own The Room’ now has been perfect timing for me – but I can see how it could impact on so many areas of life.  There is the expected public speaking or work presentation – but I also think it would be really valuable at other times.  From a personal point of view I can imagine using the techniques when trying to have a forceful conversation with utility suppliers (admittedly somewhat niche, but the bane of my life at the moment) or to stop getting tearful at my kids’ parents’ evenings (not sure I will ever stop that happening – but I will try!)

I would thoroughly recommend that everyone reads this – female or male.

 

* since the first of January, Viv has been posting on Instagram her room owning women of 2019.  Some of them are from the book itself – but many are not, and are totally diverse.  It is totally worth following her Instragram for this alone.  I *may* have got quite excited the day that Tea Leoni (Elizabeth McCord in Madam Secretary) featured and brain dumped all of the facts I know about her………  And there’s a definite Brummie bent, with Jess Phillips and Malala (adopted daughter of Birmingham) featuring thus far! Some women I know of already, some are revelations and new heroines – but all are interesting and thought provoking.

 

Book Review: Little Liar by Lisa Ballantyne

Little Liar

I spotted this book on Netgalley and applied to have an advanced review copy (although I am slightly confused by the dates – as they said it would be published in May 2019, but it appears to be on sale on Amazon already??) Anyway – it looked an interesting read – and the author has previously been on Richard & Judy’s bookclub lists – so I downloaded it to read.

Here is the Amazon blurb:

The accused
While Nick Dean is enjoying an evening at home with his family, he is blissfully unaware that one of his pupils has just placed an allegation of abuse against him – and that Nick’s imminent arrest will see the start of everything he knows and loves disintegrating around him.

Because, mud sticks, right? No matter if you’re innocent or guilty.

The accuser
When Angela Furness decides that enough is enough – she hates her parents, hates her friends and, most of all, despises what has recently happened at school – she does the only thing she knows will get her attention: calls the police. But Angela is unaware that the shocking story she is about to tell will see her life begin to topple.

Because, once you’ve said what you’ve said, there’s no way back, right? No matter if you’re innocent or guilty.

In a gripping tale of two families torn apart by one catastrophic betrayal, Little Liar illustrates the fine line between guilt and innocence, and shows that everyone has their secrets, even those we ought to trust the most…”

I was intrigued with the book from the start.  The chapters are told by different characters – so you jump around from different perspectives – but that adds to the momentum of the storyline.

I have to say I was unsure who to believe – just when you thought you’d got it straight, something else would make you question what you thought!  It really does twist and turn.

It’s also worryingly easy to see how such a thing could happen in real life – an accusation easily made could change someone’s life forever.  A few times I did want to shout at the characters to be honest with each other, as that would make life a lot easier for everyone (although possibly make the book more dull?!)

There is a twist towards the end – which I’d actually guessed beforehand – but that didn’t stop me wanting to read the book to see how it all panned out.   The end feels a little rushed – and not all of the loose ends are tied up – but overall I enjoyed it.

I would definitely read something by Lisa Ballantyne again.