Book Review: Between You and Me by Lisa Hall

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Title - Between You and Me
Author - Lisa Hall
Publication Date - March 17th 2016
Publisher - Carina UK
Format - Kindle Edition
Pages - 327

They say every marriage has its secrets.
But no one sees what happens behind closed doors.
And sometimes those doors should never be opened...

Sal and Charlie are married. They love each other. But they aren't happy. Sal cannot leave, no matter what Charlie does - no matter how much it hurts.

In true 'towering TBR pile' book blogger style, it took me longer than anticipated to reach Hall's much talked about debut Between You and Me. I had seen so many raving reviews about this book, so much so that it only served to heighten my own excitement in regards to reading it. Everywhere I looked there were 5 star reviews, and claims of a 'killer twist' that I just wouldn't see coming. Suffice to say, those reviewers were correct. The twist, when it reared its ugly head, knocked me right off of my feet and left me feeling completely and utterly derailed, and questioning my own views on the topics raised within.

In Hall's debut Between You and Me, we're introduced to characters Sal and Charlie. Married, and parents to daughter Maggie, to everyone on the outside looking in, this couple have got it all. Perfectly-kept home to entertain work friends of an evening, confident and attractive Mr and Mrs, and an adorable little girl. On the surface, it really is spotless, but beneath, things are not as perfect as they first appear to be. For me, personally, I love it when an author takes something that looks pretty and appealing and slowly, gradually, peels away the layers hiding the truth.

As this novel finds its wings and begins to take off, Hall reels her readers in and begins to build the foundations of the novel's frighteningly real premise. Domestic abuse, physical and violent, ensured that I, as the reader, felt the overwhelming presence of control and fear that followed me right the way through the pages to the very end. It was claustrophobic and suffocating, yet completely addictive, a novel I found I couldn't put down without wondering where the author would lead me and her characters next. Wrapped beneath the deceiving blissful domesticity was a real edge of danger and terror that I found I couldn't turn away from.

Hall's leading couple, Sal and Charlie, were fantastically put together and felt so real to me as I continued to turn the pages. Charlie, a workaholic and lover of control. Sal, a stay-at-home mother and unable to make a single decision in her life without letting Charlie know first. It was impossible for me not to take sides while reading. I wanted nothing more than for Sal to get the hell out of there with Maggie in tow and make a run for it. Hall's vivid imagery and emotional descriptions tore at me completely, and my concern for Sal and Maggie only grew as the novel progressed. Alongside family members and Sal's good friend Laura, attempts at intervening and trying to help are knocked aside repeatedly by Sal, and this only further portrayed how frightened of Charlie Sal truly was.

It is so difficult to write this review as there's so much more I want to touch upon, yet I don't want to give a single thing away while doing so. It was nerve-wracking, tense, and really packed an emotional punch with me as I'm sure it has done with most readers. Although the read had me uncomfortable at times, it's fair to say that I absolutely enjoyed the ride Lisa Hall took me on throughout reading Between You and Me. The twists and turns were unseen, and the ending blew my mind completely. For Hall's debut, this has really set the boundary high, and I will be waiting on tenterhooks for Hall's next book, as I can't wait to see what this author has lined up for her readers next.

Becca's Books is awarding Between You and Me by Lisa Hall with five of my bookish cupcakes. Sharp, edgy and compelling, this was a thriller of the highest impact and has left a lasting impression on me.

About the author
Lisa loves words, reading and everything there is to love about books. She has dreamed of being a writer since she was a little girl – either that or a librarian - and after years of talking about it, was finally brave enough to put pen to paper (and let people actually read it). Lisa lives in a small village in Kent, surrounded by her towering TBR pile, a rather large brood of children, dogs, chickens and ponies and her long-suffering husband. She is also rather partial to eating cheese and drinking wine. 
Readers can follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaHallAuthor

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