After a chaotic childhood, Grace Vermuyden is determined her own daughters will fulfil the dreams denied to her. Lilly is everyone’s golden girl, the popular, clever daughter she never had to worry about. So when she mysteriously collapses in class, Grace’s carefully ordered world begins to unravel.
Dark rumours swirl around their tight-knit community on the edge of the Fens as everyone comes up with their own theories about what happened. Consumed with paranoia, and faced with increasing evidence that Lilly has been leading a secret life, Grace starts to search for clues.
Left to her own devices, ten-year-old Mia develops some wild theories of her own that have unforeseen and devastating consequences for the people she loves most.
Beneath the Surface explores the weight of the past upon the present, the burden of keeping secrets and what happens when children get caught in the undercurrents of adult relationships.
I want to start by quoting a sentence on the cover : “Everybody lies”. That is so true, but there are lies and lies. Everybody tells a little white lie once and again to protect other people’s feelings and there is no harm done. But some lies are much darker and more dramatic and can have a serious impact.
The lies that are told here are of the latter kind. They are used to hide some secrets and to protect the liar on the one hand. ON the other hand people lie to protect someone else and create problems for themselves.
I loved Mia. She is a great character and made me smile, but she is also very clever and is wise beyond her years.
I liked Grace the least in the beginning, but when her story unravels, I can see where she came from. I still do not really like her, but I do understand her better.
I think it’s a kind of book you either really like or really dislike. I, for sure, enjoyed it a lot. It is full of emotions and my heart went out to Mia. She certainly did not deserve to be treated like that. 4 stars.
Thank you, Michael Joseph Comms
About the author
Fiona Neill is a novelist and journalist. She was born in 1966. Her first novel The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy, based on her column in The Times Magazine every Saturday, was published in 2007. It was widely acclaimed and went on to become a Sunday Times bestseller that sold in twenty-five countries.
Brought up in Norfolk, she now lives in London with her husband and three children.