Sunday, August 9, 2020

Lies, Lies, Lies

  Lies, Lies, Lies
Author:  Adele Parks
Publication Information:  MIRA. 2020. 384 pages.
ISBN:  077838814X / 978-0778388142

Book Source:  I received this book through NetGalley and the Harlequin Trade Publishing 2020 summer reads blog tour free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Sentence:  "Simon was six years old when he first tasted beer."

Favorite Quote:  "Do we still live in a world where being polite keeps order or does it leave  you vulnerable?"

***** Blog Tour *****


When a book starts with an opening sentence like the opening line for Lies, Lies, Lies, it's a good bet that alcoholism is going to be part of the story. When a book titled Lies, Lies, Lies has the tag line "every marriage has them", it's a good bet that the ups and downs of the marriage in the book lead to a dark place. The questions are many. What are the lies? Why were they told? Who told them? Who believed them? Were they told out of "love" and a desire to protect? Were they told out of guilt, fear, or some nefarious reason?

Simon and Daisy are supposedly happily married. They have fulfilling careers, a beautiful child, and a close-knit group of friends. They are planning an addition to their family, or at least Simon is. Beneath the surface, dangers lurk and secrets hide. 

A meeting shatters the illusion of perfection. The repercussions of that revelation lead to catastrophe.

A title like Lies, Lies, Lies might suggest a thriller. This book does have its twists and turns and some unknowns, but it is definitely more family drama than thriller. Trigger warning, there are descriptions and incidents of violence. The story is successfully told from the alternating perspectives of Daisy and Simon. This technique works so well in this book for it is the story of a marriage. The reality is that to understand marriage, it is important to see and understand both perspectives.

There are three main lies in this book surrounded by many minor ones.

The resolution of Simon and Daisy's marriage in this book does not come as a surprise. I guess one particular lie early on in the book. Nothing overt really gives it away, but it seems to be the only conclusion possible given the cast of characters.

How the book gets to its ending and the two other big lies, I don't see coming. It's is difficult to say anything without a spoiler. One lie speaks to a major societal issue, and the lie seems entirely realistic and believable given the treatment of women in that situation and given the track record of our legal system. The other appears tacked on at the end because the situation needs to be resolved to conclude the story, but it seems just there. It is there because the question needs an answer no matter how unlikely or unrealistic it may be. Not gonna lie, there is definite "eewww" factor.

The first half of the book centers more on the marriage, and the second half deals more with the reasons behind the big lie of the book. The personal story of the marriage is the more engaging one as it is more intimate, personal one. Either way, the book is a quick read especially due to the short chapters of alternating perspectives. 

About the Author

Adele Parks was born in Teesside, North-East England. Her first novel, Playing Away, was published in 2000 and since then she's had seventeen international bestsellers, translated into twenty-six languages, including I Invited Her In. She's been an Ambassador for The Reading Agency and a judge for the Costa. She's lived in Italy, Botswana, and London, and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband, teenage son, and cat.

About the Book

LIES LIES LIES (MIRA Trade Paperback; August 4, 2020; $17.99) centers on the story of Simon and Daisy Barnes. To the outside world, Simon and Daisy look like they have a perfect life. They have jobs they love, an angelic, talented daughter, a tight group of friends... and they have secrets too. Secrets that will find their way to the light, one way or the other.

Daisy and Simon spent almost a decade hoping for the child that fate cruelly seemed to keep from them. It wasn’t until, with their marriage nearly in shambles and Daisy driven to desperation, little Millie was born. Perfect in every way, healing the Barnes family into a happy unit of three. Ever indulgent Simon hopes for one more miracle, one more baby. But his doctor’s visit shatters the illusion of the family he holds so dear.

Now, Simon has turned to the bottle to deal with his revelation and Daisy is trying to keep both of their secrets from spilling outside of their home. But Daisy’s silence and Simon’s habit begin to build until they set off a catastrophic chain of events that will destroy life as they know it.

Q&A with Adele Parks

Q: Please give an elevator pitch for Lies, Lies, Lies.

A: Daisy and Simon’s marriage is great. Isn’t it? After years together, the arrival of longed-for daughter Millie sealed everything in place. A happy little family of three. But Simon drinks too much and one night at a party, things spiral horribly out of control. The consequences are horrific, their little family of three will never be the same again. Lies Lies Lies explores the darkest corners of a relationship in freefall as lies are exposed and secrets will not stay hidden. A domestic noir with themes such as addiction, jealousy and secrecy raging throughout.

Q: Which came first: the characters or plotline?

A: The two things are intrinsically linked and need to work together, but for me, it is nearly always plotline that comes first, a hair’s breadth before characters. My domestic noir or psychological thrillers (call it what you will!) are dependent on reveals, rug-pulls, and twists. They only work if the author is confident about where the plot is going from the beginning. That way every word written works harder. If the author is making it up as they go along in this genre it can get complicated at best, farcical at worst! So, I had a plot. Then I thought, ‘which people in the entire world would this be most devastating for?’ At that point, I draw my characters. The same circumstances that Daisy and Simon endure would have a different outcome if they didn’t have particular character traits.

Q: Why do you love Daisy and why should readers root for her?

A: Honestly, hand in the air, time to confess - Daisy is tricky to love to start with. She’s reserved, closed, a little judgemental. However, the more you get to know her, the more you’ll understand she’s incredibly resilient, has a strong moral compass, an incredible sense of loyalty, and is a fiercely strong mom! All great qualities.

Q: What was your last 5 star read?

A: The Guest List by Lucy Foley This is a classic whodunit? Set on a beautiful windswept Irish island, the Wedding of the Year is about to take place between beautiful fashion-forwards magazine editor Jules Keegan and her TV star finance Will Slater. The novel shimmers with tension: past rivalries, family rifts, and barely disguised grudges. The cake has just been cut when a body is found. As a storm is raging, no one can get on or off the island, so which of the guests is the murderer and who is dead? It’s tense, brilliantly paced, and keeps the reader guessing!

Q: What is one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

A: It is an industry for the kind and patient. That is a great thing, right? Two fabulous qualities. Nearly everyone I’ve ever met in publishing has been genuinely lovely, with a sincere passion for their work, good intentions, and big hearts. However, it is not a speedy industry! I worked in a global management consultancy before I became a published novelist and was used to a very fast pace in my working life. Publishing is generally rather sedate. I hope I am known for my kindness, but I doubt I am known for my patience! I’m so glad that my last three books have been published by HarperCollins. Luckily for me, they are an incredibly nimble publishing house, not only responsive and reactive but proactive too.

Q: Can you tell us what you’re working on now?

A: The next novel of mine that will hit the States is a novel called Just My Luck. It’s about – a lottery win so big, it changes everything for a group of friends who learn to understand what money can, can’t should and definitely should not buy!

For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes. Over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they’ve discussed the important stuff – the kids, marriages, jobs and houses – and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner.

But then, one Saturday night, the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone doesn’t tell the truth. And soon after, six numbers come up which change everything forever.

Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth £18 million. And their friends are determined to claim a share of it. A look at the dark side of wealth, in this gripping take on friendship, money, betrayal, and good luck gone bad.
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