Can you tell the truth from the lies?
Sadie loves her daughter and will do anything to keep her safe.
She can’t tell her why they had to leave home so quickly – or why Robin’s father won’t be coming with them to London.
She can’t tell her why she hates being back in her dead mother’s house, with its ivy-covered walls and its poisonous memories.
And she can’t tell her the truth about the school Robin’s set to start at – a school that doesn’t welcome newcomers.
Sadie just wants to get their lives back on track.
The Lies You Told by Harriet Tyce is one of my most anticipated of 2020 reads, I met Harriet and picked up a copy of her debut Blood Orange last hear at the Headline event, I devoured it in a day. I received Tracy’s email about this blog tour and I jumped at the chance – thanks Tracy for the spot, as well as Wild Fire Books for a stunning hardback copy to read in preparation of the tour. The e-book version of The Lies You Told became available last month, but as of the 20th of August you too will be able to grab a physical copy from any good bookstore, or you can purchase here.
The Lies You Told is 400 pages of a domestic – psychological thriller, that will captivate from the first chapter and hold you until the last page. I read this book in a day, completely agreeing with Sophie Hannah’s blurb in concerns to it being ‘Totally addictive’. Let’s firstly talk the characters, the core of any thriller, Sadie and Robin, mother and daughter who have moved to London, to Sadie’s childhood home and Robin to Sadie’s childhood school – a prestigious all girls school where all newcomers are looked upon with disdain. What initially gripped me was the intrigue of why Sadie and Robin moved to London away from their US home, as well as the swarm behaviour of the ‘mothers’ who congregate at the school gates and are quickly rubbed up the wrong way by the newbies. I have experienced the hellish congregation of these type of parents at the school gates, the PTA and at times the overbearing nature of them – I identified the way Sadie felt but this part of the storyline had so many layers that it kept me glued, I wanted to know why, especially when events begin to turn more sinister as the best intentions become deadly consequences.
Sadie is our protagonist, apart from injected chapters from an unknown point of view, the entire novel is told from Sadie’s view point. As with Blood Orange Harriet has created an educated female lead, that is ready, after ten years of focusing all her attention on her family, returns back to work as a court junior. I felt that this was her fresh start, to give herself an identity more than ‘mother’ and ‘wife’. I felt that this character development provided Sadie with a further depth, along with it a sense of vulnerability as her life begins to slot into place. Sadie is unlike the ‘perfect parents’ at the school, she knows that she is flawed but she is also aware that she is doing the best that she can with what she has in work and as a parent.
The Lies You Told is a domestic thriller with an air of suspense that ticks so many boxes, I couldn’t put it down and flew through it with greedy reader speed. With an inclusion of sub-plots that I felt both distracted from the main storyline, yet to some degree fitted into it as a way of distraction worked quite well. I enjoyed the main plotline the most with the teeth grinding unbearable parents, with characters that i’d love to slap – i’d have loved a bit more focus on that side, especially in regards to the relationships between the mothers, children and mothers on a deeper level. Overall, a well written intricate novel that is both complex and easy to follow, filled with lies, betrayals and a spin on the perfect domestic home life. This read will have you promising yourself that you’ll read one more chapter then go to bed, then find yourself still reading at 2am….. Not just me, right?
Thank-you for popping over to check out my bookish thoughts on The Lies You Told, make sure to catch up with the previous reviews from some brilliant bloggers, as well as the upcoming ones by searching #TheLiesYouTold on social media.
Have you already read it? What did you think?
Until next time,