Lara’s life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandro and the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can’t tell anyone else or everything Massimo has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage.
Maggie is married to Massimo’s brother Nico and lives with him and her troubled stepdaughter. She knows all of Nico’s darkest secrets – or so she thinks. Then one day she discovers a letter in the attic which reveals a shocking secret about Nico’s first wife Caitlin. Will Maggie set the record straight or keep silent to protect those she loves?
For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price.
Can a review consist of just some incoherent gibberish to show how much you’ve loved a book? How about a Kermit flail? No? Because quite frankly, I’m not at all sure how I’m supposed to put into words the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been on following this story of a dysfunctional and slightly cuckoo family.
It’s all incredibly relatable. Who hasn’t had to play happy families when sticking a fork in your eye sounds way more fun? Who hasn’t maybe worn a mask when visitors arrive ten seconds after you’ve had an argument with your other half because it’s none of their business? But then imagine having to wear that mask day in, day out. Live your life pretending so you don’t rock the boat. I don’t know about you but I would go crazy!
Thank goodness I had the house to myself as I was engrossed from the very first page and wouldn’t have been too thrilled with interruptions. It’s a testament to Kerry Fisher’s writing. The way she draws you in with characters that are so realistic, you expect them to jump off the page any second. I couldn’t help getting emotionally invested. Getting utterly lost in the family dynamics, willing some characters on, wanting them to succeed or for some, hoping they’d get their comeuppance. Again, a good thing I was alone as I often muttered some choice words or used rude Italian gestures and that sort of thing just invites strange looks from whomever is sitting next to you.
This story has a lot to offer. Family secrets, skeletons in the closet, complicated relationships with stepchildren and a mother-in-law we wouldn’t wish on anyone. But also unlikely friendships and finding your inner strength. The strength to make changes, to stay true to yourself, to find your way through a strange, new world that feels more like an obstacle course.
There’s also humour. Maggie and Beryl had me laughing out loud a number of times. Especially Beryl who has a fabulous no-nonsense attitude and no filter whatsoever.
Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny, always gripping and with a satisfying ending! I loved it!