Emma Willshire has overcome plenty of obstacles in her life. From student bride to single mum of a son, Owen, but she has found happiness with her second husband, Paul and another child, Mollie. Emma’s dark days seem far behind her until a fatal accident happens at Paul’s work and he is held responsible.
On holiday in France, Paul’s behaviour turns erratic. On impulse, he buys a cheap, dilapidated property and, to Emma’s dismay, persuades her they can renovate it into a holiday home.
Back in England, their problems spiral out of control. Escape to a new life in France seems the only solution but with heart-breaking loss for Emma. As the couple strive to renovate their ruin and open a small business, shadows from the past threaten their happiness and safety. Because, how can you build a new life on toxic foundations?
First of all I would like to say that I like the cover. The upper part represents the lovely relaxed holiday feeling in France, the middle part stands for the darker parts in the story and the lower part is misty and gives you a feeling of uncertainty. To me this reflects the contents perfectly.
As the title already indicates, lies are a big part of this story, as well as deceit, struggling through hard times and heartbreak, but of course there is a bright side filled with motherly love, friendship and deciding what’s good for you and not what others dictate.
I liked Emma a lot. She is a very determined and strong woman and after everything she is been through, she comes out of it even stronger. Paul on the other hand wants it all and it blows up in his face. He so gets what he deserves.
The author takes us from the UK to France and the story is alternately told by the two main characters. I really enjoyed this book and I certainly would not mind reading more of her works. 4 stars.
Thank you, Helen Matthews and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the author
Helen Matthews is the author of Lies Behind the Ruin, a contemporary suspense novel set in France, to be published in April 2019 by Hashtag Press. Her debut novel After Leaving the Village, published in 2017, won first prize for the opening pages of a novel at Winchester Writers’ Festival. Born in Cardiff, she read English at the University of Liverpool and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. Helen’s short stories and flash fiction have won prizes and been published in Reflex Fiction, Ad Hoc, Artificium, Scribble and Love Sunday. Her freelance journalism has been published in the Guardian and broadcast on BBC radio. She is an ambassador for Unseen, a charity that campaigns to end human trafficking and modern slavery.
Social Media Links