Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Lies We Hide - by S.E. Lynes

©S.E.Lynes
Pre-Order at Amazon
Release Date: 12/4/19
The Lies We Hide is moving, absolutely moving beyond measure. I had a feeling early on that this was going to be a five-star-read and I'm so glad I was right! Author S.E. Lynes has succeeded in crafting a read so dark in nature, yet so full of love. We all have our secrets, some are just undoubtedly deeper than others. As the tagline states, "The truth can set you free, or make you a prisoner."

Bits and pieces of the 'Watson' family truth are uncovered from start to finish. We're provided with narratives from multiple perspectives given in a now and then type format. The now is mainly told from Nicola's perspective as she relives the memories of her family's somber past and reflects in her own guilt in the aftermath of her mother's death. Nicola made it, she's a successful lawyer (barrister) in the city, but at what cost? In the end, Nicola learns a truth that changes everything she thought she knew to be true. Simultaneously, the past narrations explore their family life as told from the perspectives of Carol and her eldest child, her son Graham.

Everything Carol does is to protect her children. She's put up with so much abuse from her alcoholic husband until finally one day enough is enough. Due to her own near-death experience and the love shown to her by friends she dares to escape with her children in the dead of night. She survives. They survive. But what is survival really? How much does our past play a part in shaping our futures? 

We're also given insight into Graham's upbringing and find out exactly what lead him down his own destructive path. Children see and hear, experience, more than we think they do. As a parent, that's a hard pill to swallow. Graham's eventual prison sentence takes him down a road to redemption as he puts in the hard work with the new prison chaplain, Richard.

The Lies We Hide is written in a way that truly makes you feel apart of the story. I got the sense that I knew these characters and I felt for them. I felt like I experienced growth with them. I cried with them. I smiled with them. I was in horror for and with them. I was proud of them and I forgave them while drawing from similarities of my own. Not with domestic abuse but rather the sheer, pure and powerful feelings of a mother's love.

I recommend this book to absolutely everyone. There is so much raw emotion, so much love, and much-needed awareness brought to the subject of domestic abuse and the effects it has on the survivors. For those who have read Lynes' work before, please note this is not the psychological thriller that you're used to seeing. She says it herself in her closing letter to the reader, "For me this book is about so many things: family, fear, the legacy of abuse, violence, politics, compassion, friendship, grief, redemption, kindness and, mainly, love." - A letter from S.E.Lynes.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture, and the author S.E. Lynes for providing me with an advanced reader copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. I am very thankful to have been able to read Carol's story. I know that this is one that will never truly leave me. Absolutely unforgettable.

I just reviewed The Lies We Hide by S.E. Lynes. #TheLiesWeHide #SELynes #NetGalley #Bookouture #MistysCornerReviews

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