Wednesday 27 April 2016

Reviewed: After the Lie by Kerry Fisher

TITLE: After the Lie
AUTHOR: Kerry Fisher
PUBLISHER: Bookouture

PUBLICATION DATE: April 29, 2016

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Sometimes a lie can split your life in two. There is “before”, and there is “after”. Try as you might – you can never go back.

When Lydia was a teenager, she made a decision that ruined her family’s life. They’ve spent the last thirty years living with the consequences and doing their best to pretend it never happened.

Lydia’s husband, the gorgeous and reliable Mark, and her two teenage children know nothing about that summer back in 1982. And that’s the way Lydia wants it to stay. The opportunity to come clean is long gone and now it’s not the lie that matters, it’s the betrayal of hiding the truth for so long.

When someone from the past turns up as a parent at the school gates, Lydia feels the life she has worked so hard to build slipping through her fingers. The more desperate she becomes to safeguard her family, the more erratic her behaviour becomes. But when the happiness of her own teenage son, Jamie, hangs in the balance, Lydia is forced to make some impossible decisions. Can she protect him and still keep her own secret – and if she doesn’t, will her marriage and family survive?

I’m a big fan of Kerry Fisher’s writing and I’ve loved both her previous books, The School Gate Survival Guide and The Island Escape, but her Bookouture debut After the Lie is by far Kerry’s best book to date. Each of Kerry’s books have that similar style of thought-provoking stories portraying realistic and often flawed characters with a great dose of humour mixed in, yet what I love most about reading a Kerry Fisher book is that I know each one will offer something entirely different but completely fascinating. I’m always hooked and drawn into the lives of her unforgettable characters.

After the Lie is the story of Lydia. Lydia is carrying a secret, has been for over thirty years, but for the most part her life can carry on perfectly fine without the danger of the secret being discovered. Her husband Mark doesn’t know. Her children Jamie and Izzy don’t know. Lydia and her parents have been living the lie fairly comfortably until a familiar face appears and poses the threat that will destroy everything. I was dying to know the secret right from the moment I turned the first page.

I loved the pacing of this book. It was so suspenseful. I wasn’t sure when we would find out Lydia’s secret and how shocking it was going to be. Once I did learn Lydia’s secret, I was then eager and completely consumed with finding out what was to come next. From the start, Lydia’s voice and the way she is telling us this story completely dragged me in. She was a very engaging character to read from and her voice stood strong so every time I picked this book up, I could slot right back into the story and the chaos that was poor Lydia’s life. Admittedly I didn’t put this book down often because it was an extremely addictive read, with a darker edge to it than previous novels from the author which I think suited her style of writing perfectly.

The characterisation in this book was fantastic and it was made easy to see each one as a true person rather than simply a name in a book. Even the dog was characterised to perfection, and in fact contributed to some of my favourite moments in the story.

I was completely invested in this book’s characters, not just Lydia but all the supporting characters too. They were “proper” people, imperfect and believable. They made choices, some right and many others wrong, and they battled with their own consciences. Kerry’s writing sharply observes a character and what truly makes them as a person – all the little things that build up inside and take a hold of someone, controlling their lives on a daily basis. Lydia in particular, because through keeping this one secret for decades, she’s had to cover up with little white lies for years on end which gradually built up to become something unbearable and life-changing. This book, with its use of lie after lie, really well represents the ease of a lie and the desperation of trying to cling onto a life without the truth being discovered.

After the Lie explores real human emotions and family ties. I loved the outlook on the role of a mother, from Lydia’s relationship with her own mother to her relationship, as the mother, to her children, especially Jamie. It’s a role where you can try your best to protect someone and still get nothing right. Lydia and her mum were very different but also had some stark similarities which neither of them would probably appreciate me pointing out. I also found it really interesting how Jamie’s story kind of echoed the past of his mum and I loved following how Lydia responded to his choices and mistakes. At the same time, this book possessed a lot of humour which accurately conveyed how as people we always find humour at the most difficult of times.

I loved this book. I seriously didn’t want it to end and as much as I liked Lydia’s character, I would have been quite happy to have her life spiral out of control for another thirty years so long as Kerry would have kept the story going so I could read all about it.


  1. Oh Sophie, you have made my day...what a lovely, lovely review! Thank you for taking the time to read and write a review...much appreciated Kerry


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