Your past will devastate your family. But your lies could destroy them. What would YOU do?
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?
I've just finished reading this book and I start off by saying that I absolutely loved it and that even though this is the first book I've read by this author, Kerry Fisher goes straight away to my 'most favourite authors' list.
"We all make mistakes, pet. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to pay a high price to put them right."
The story starts in 1982 when Sally is a teenager. She tells a lie to her parents and foolishly makes a very, very stupid mistake which will have serious consequences. Consequences that will change her and her family's life for ever...
"You can't go into a marriage without total honesty, can you?"
Now, thirty years later, Sally is called Lydia and lives in another town. She is married to Mark and has two kids. No one knows of her terrible secret (except her parents), not even her husband. But one day, out of the blue, the past catches up with the present - a person who knows what Sally did resurfaces. Now Lydia is terrified that the terrible secret she has worked so hard to conceal and which she never found enough courage to disclose to her husband, could be exposed with even more terrible consequences.
She has to do something, however in her frustrations, Lydia ends up making another even more terrible mistake, a mistake that puts her and her present family on a very slippery slope.
When you realise you've messed up big time, how easy it is to just turn on the page, forgive yourself and move on? How will Lydia get out of the mess she has got into? Will her marriage survive all the turmoil unleashed?
I love this author's writing style. Though it is quite a tense book, I found myself cracking loud laughs from time to time... Her style has that humorous edge that gives a break to the tension and makes reading even more enjoyable.
I loved many of the characters, however for various reasons my absolute favourite was Mark - a man who I think every woman dreams of having as husband.
I liked Lydia a lot too. Having done stupid things in my teenage years (thankfully not as extreme as Sally's) and having a dominant, ultra-negative mother dictating my very existence, I could perfectly relate to Lydia in so many ways. I couldn't judge her for what she did. She was a typical teenager who got into trouble and then later on a typical mother and wife facing the consequences of her mistakes together with all the challenges involved in growing up teenagers.
I wanted to slap hard Lydia's mother on many occasions!!!! But given the circumstances, maybe the way she behaved, was the only way she knew to cope with the enormity of the situation in which she found herself.
And I just LOVED Mable, the naughty family dog. In this book I've seen something unique. The author has given weight to this mad, happy family member almost as much as any of the other human characters. This shows the author's love for her own dog, Poppy on which she says she has based Mable.
Yes, I was touched by this book as it is one continuous roller-coaster of emotions on a very twisty track. It made me reflect on many things like for example how other people around us perceive us, how they think they know us, when in reality deep down we can be or feel so much different. I loved the many twists planted by the author throughout especially the shocking final revelation. Ehh... Lydia Lydia!!
I highly recommend this fabulous book and will certainly be looking out for others penned by Kerry Fisher.
With many thanks to Bookouture for approving my request to read this book through Netgalley.
Kerry was brought up in Peterborough. She now lives in Surrey with a very tolerant husband and two children.After landing her dream job working on women s magazines, she discovered that she hated writing about real people in case their families got upset. The University of California Writers Program helped her move from fact into fiction. The School Gate Survival Guide is her first novel.