Her Mothers Lies by Rona Halsall
Today I am thrilled to be joining the book tour for Her Mother’s Lies by Rona Halsall.
Many thanks to Noelle from Bookouture and the author for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.
What if the person you trust most in the world, has been lying to you for your whole life?
Martha would do anything for her devoted mother, Fran. Now in her mid-twenties, Martha still lives with her in their remote, pretty cottage in the Cornish countryside. Fran paints illustrations, while Martha trains to be an animal nurse.
But then Martha sees a strange message on her mother’s phone – apparently from her estranged father.
He had been there for her first steps. He’d helped with her homework, and taken her for ice cream at weekends. And then, two days before her ninth birthday, he walked out. She never knew what went wrong, and she and Fran never heard from him again.
Desperate for answers, she tracks him down. But when they come face-to-face, she isn’t ready for the brutal truth.
Closing his eyes he says, ‘She hasn’t told you, has she? I’m not your father.’
Her mother has been telling lies.
And not just about who her real father is…
A page-turning, gripping psychological thriller for fans of Paula Hawkins, Shalini Boland, and C. L. Taylor.
Martha is living in a remote part of Cornwall with her diabetic mother who is also an alcoholic. When she loses her job at a local vets she thinks that things can’t get any worse. The relationship between mother and daughter is strained. Martha feels stifled by Fran both financially and emotionally. When Fran is rushed to hospital Martha makes a decision to find her father, who left very suddenly fifteen years previously. Martha feels that she has to gain control, she needs answers to questions that her mother refuses to answer, but she could never be prepared for what she finds out.
My heart went out to Fran, with a sick mother she had no support network apart from friend Izzy and landlady Anna. The author describes how remote the rented cottage is and you get a real feeling of how isolated Fran is. With no car and few job prospects, it is entirely understandable that Fran needs to seek answers. Why did her mother feel the need to take her to somewhere so remote and why did her father leave so suddenly?
The book is written from both Fran and Martha’s POV and slips between now and fifteen years previously. The story gathers speeds towards the end of the book and really keeps the reader guessing. I had my suspicions about certain aspects but Rona Halsall was always one step ahead. The intricate web of lies unfurled to a dramatic and enjoyable conclusion with many surprises along the way.
Rona lives on the Isle of Man with her husband, two dogs and three guinea pigs. She has been a bookworm since she was a child and now she’s actually creating stories of her own, which still feels like a dream come true.
She is an outdoorsy person and loves stomping up a mountain, walking the coastal paths and exploring the wonderful beaches on the Island while she’s plotting how to kill off her next victim. She also makes sure she deletes her Google history on a regular basis, because… well, you can’t be too careful when you spend your life researching new and ingenious ways for people to die.
She has three children and two step-children who are now grown up and leading varied and interesting lives, which provides plenty of ideas for new stories!