Book Review: After the Lie by Kerry Fisher

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Title - After the Lie
Author - Kerry Fisher
Publication Date - April 29th 2016
Publisher - Bookouture
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher via NetGalley)
Pages - 316

- Blurb -
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?

- Review -
In today's social media and technology-ruled world, Kerry Fisher's latest book, After the Lie, fits in seamlessly. This book is a portrayal of how quickly things can escalate from something that at the time seemed minor, and how the consequences of that action can echo throughout the years, following everyone involved as they continue through life. I absolutely loved this book. I think the subject matter is incredibly important in today's society and it captures perfectly how our actions, and the events that follow, can change our lives completely. I really must applaud Kerry Fisher for such a real, powerful and hard-hitting novel, yet still ensuring it had heart, hope and forgiveness.

In After the Lie by Kerry Fisher, we're introduced to Lydia. It quickly becomes clear to the reader that something drastic happened in her past that is still haunting her family to this day. It was all very hush-hush, almost as if what had taken place was a taboo. No one liked to talk about it. In fact, it had been brushed under the carpet and kept there for thirty years. Yet the effects still had a hold over Lydia, her mother and her father. To ensure I remained intrigued in regards to Lydia's shameful past that everyone refused to mention, the author didn't reveal the secret but rather told me of how it had affected the characters. I think the emotional descriptions were incredibly real and vividly written. It wasn't hard for me to realise how much it had changed the family, perhaps for the rest of their lives. A million and one possible scenarios ran through my mind while reading as I tried to figure out what had happened to have such devastating effects on these people, but I was so far from the truth it was almost laughable.

Kerry Fisher's characters within After the Lie were superbly crafted. Lydia will remain with me for quite some time. She had spent almost the entirety of her life hiding from the truth and trying, but failing, to move forward and leave the past behind. I can't imagine how painful and tough that would be for someone. Lydia's mother was a very prominent character within this book and, despite enjoying her character at times, even finding her quite funny, I found it to hard to warm to her. She was persistent in ignoring Lydia's past and, although I understand that for a mother it would be difficult to talk about, it didn't help Lydia at all. It was so claustrophobic, and the pressure Lydia felt to keep up the image of a self-assured, carefree woman who was happy with her life, was immense. Even Lydia's husband didn't know the truth about what had happened all those years ago. She shouldered so much secrecy and kept herself so well-hidden, I was expecting her, at numerous moments throughout the book, to just blurt it all out. Perhaps she would have felt relief at doing so? But when the plot took a breathtaking turn for the worse later on, she held onto it even tighter than before. People who she hoped were well and truly left behind in her old life crop up and it rocks her world to its very core. I was utterly gripped.

On top of keeping this massive secret to herself, Lydia's once tidy life becomes more crowded and unsafe than ever before. Not only does the one person she never hoped to see again appear and threaten her very existence, but the shock of this event seems to ricochet through all of the other aspects of Lydia's life. She does things completely out of character, snaps and bites at those she loves and, as the novel progresses and things become much more tense than ever before, she is forced to admit that perhaps the truth coming out is the best course of action to take, despite how her loved ones will take it. A cruel twist of fate marks the point of realisation for Lydia and there's no turning back after that.

After the Lie by Kerry Fisher was a dramatic, family-focused read, riddled with the aftermath of a secret that refused to let her family go. It was shocking and addictive, gripping and compelling, and the sort of story that has the power to change how you react to certain things in your life. I adored this book and believe it's a story everyone should read. Real and raw, it's about moving forward, being strong, and finally making peace with the things that haunt you the most.

Becca's Books is awarding After the Lie by Kerry Fisher with five of my bookish stars. I couldn't have loved this book more if I tried. I raced through the pages with a sheer desperation to see how it would all end, holding out fierce hope that all would become, after such a long time, calm and serene. Even I felt the relief of finally letting go of the secret, and the ending was perfect. Special thanks to Kerry Fisher and Bookouture for providing me with a copy of After the Lie in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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