The Lies We Tell by Jane Corry #BookReview #BlogTour


Sarah always thought of herself and her husband, Tom, as good people. But that was before their son Freddy came home saying he'd done something terrible. Begging them not to tell the police.

Soon Sarah and Tom must find out just how far they are willing to push themselves, and their marriage, to protect their only child . . .

As the lies build up and Sarah is presented with the perfect opportunity to get Freddy off the hook, she is faced with a terrifying decision . . .

Save her son . . . or save herself?

It's such a pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Lies We Tell today. Many thanks to Jane Corry, Penguin Books and Rob Chilver from Adventures With Words for inviting me and for my advance copy of the novel.

I love books that compel me to consider what I would do in a similar situation and The Lies We Tell asks one of the biggest moral quandaries of all  - how far would you go to protect your child?
At the start of the book, Sarah is lying awake in bed worried about her son, Freddie. He'd promised he would be home by midnight but at 2:53am, he's still not back and Sarah is imagining all sorts of dreadful scenarios. When she wakes up Tom, her husband, their strained relationship and their different approach to parenting is immediately obvious. As Tom goes back to sleep, Sarah is relieved to hear Freddie come in - until he breaks down and tells her something far worse than anything she'd envisioned as he tearfully admits to a terrible crime. 
The first part of the novel then takes us back through the years of Tom and Sarah's relationship; they are a textbook example of opposites attracting -  she spent her early childhood on a commune and is a seemingly free-spirited artist who paints nudes whereas he is a buttoned-up actuary who finds comfort in numbers. The early, awkward days of their unlikely pairing sees Tom's friend, Hugo, in particular, question Sarah's true intentions. As the story progresses and with the narrative divided between the pair, it's clear that they share the same need for a stable family life; however, they are rocked by devastating experiences which would test even the most solid couple and it's heartbreaking to see their separate anguish.
Knowing that they will inevitably reach the moment when their teenage son confesses his guilt means there is an underlying sense of suspense to the proceedings as the couple tries to navigate their way through the dramatic revelations that threaten to destroy everything they have. It quickly becomes evident that both are haunted by their troubled pasts but as their secrets gradually come to light, how they respond is as important as what they did years ago. Sarah and Freddie develop a bond so close, it becomes increasingly exclusionary while Tom's ingrained rigidity doesn't help and despite their desperate determination to stay together, the tension between them becomes progressively more uncomfortable to read about.
The second part of the book deals with the aftermath of Freddie's admission and especially Sarah's response to it. These chapters are laced with tension, provoking the reader into not only considering what they would do under similar circumstances but also what sort of justice should prevail here. Throughout the novel, there are short passages written from the perspective of an unknown character which, together with the initially brief courtroom scenes, adds to the sense of foreboding. However, the twisty concluding chapters are eventually set around an electrifying court case and reveal far more than I predicted.  
Jane Corry's beautifully plotted, compelling domestic thriller inexorably drew me into its intriguing web of secrets and deceit. It is also a rather touching exploration of families and the ties that bind us, and is written with a perceptive understanding of human behaviour which ensures an honest authenticity throughout. With its dysfunctional, complicated characters and gripping, provocative storyline, The Lies We Tell is a compulsive, fascinating read; I enjoyed it immensely and highly recommend it.

The Lies We Tell is published by Penguin, purchasing links can be found here but please support independent bookshops whenever possible.

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About the Author
Jane Corry is a former magazine journalist who spent three years working as the writer-in-residence of a high security prison for men. This often hair-raising experience helped inspire her Sunday Times-bestselling psychological thrillers, My Husband's Wife, Blood Sisters, The Dead Ex, I Looked Away and I Made A Mistake which have been published in more than 35 countries and sold over a million copies. Jane was a tutor in creative writing at Oxford University; an RLF Fellow at Exeter University; and is a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and My Weekly magazine.