Published by Michael Joseph
From the outside, anyone would think that Lucy Palmer has it all: loving children, a dashing husband and a gorgeous home.
But when her marriage to Michael comes to a sudden and unexpected end, her life is turned upside down in an instant.
As the truth of her marriage threatens to surface, Lucy seizes the opportunity to swap her house in London – and the stories it hides – for a rural escape to her parents’ farmhouse in the Chilterns.
But Lucy gets more than she bargained for when she moves back to her childhood home. With her parents growing older disgracefully, she can hardly keep up with their social life – especially when it throws her into the path of an old flame.
Coming face to face with her mistakes, Lucy is forced to confront the secrets she’s been keeping from herself and those she loves.
Is she ready to let someone in? Or will she leave the door to her past firmly closed?
Lucy and Michael seem to have the idyllic life, a nice house, two kids to be proud of and a perfect marriage. But appearances can be deceptive and all isn’t as it seems. Lucy has been suffering at the hands of Michael for years, not physically, but mentally. Michael is manipulative, he controls the life of his wife, their children and others around him but when the marriage comes to a shuddering end Lucy has to try and deal with her past life as best she can.
The characters have been expertly crafted, from the long suffering Lucy to her parents and their friends who are clinging to their independence as best they can. One thing I really loved about this book is the way the story unfolds over time and the more we learn about Lucy and Michael’s marriage the more we learn that actually, things were not ok. Lucy is clearly ashamed of the truth so she makes the decision to move away from London, but is she just running away from the inevitable? Does she need to face up to her past and confront it before is stops her finding true happiness?
Don’t be fooled in to thinking this is your traditional romantic love story, it isn’t, this is a book that deals with an abusive relationship and whilst that can make for uncomfortable reading, Alliott deals with it expertly, highlighting that even though things may appear great on the outside sometimes people are silently suffering. It is also a great reminder that abuse is not always physical, mental abuse can have devastating consequences that can affect someone long after the relationship has ended.
There is a lot going on in this book and I don’t want to give too much away but needless to say it is an absolute page turner, it’s a thought provoking read that will stir the emotions. It also proves you never really do know what is going on behind closed doors.
Many thanks to Sriya at Michael Joseph for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for this review. Please check out the other great reviews on the blog tour.