In 1982, Lydia is thirteen years old. Pre-internet, when mistakes didn’t go viral. Like most kids she enjoys riding her bike for hours on weekends and listening to music on her Walkman inside when it rains.
Lately she’s been going to the library after school to find books for school projects. At least, that’s what she tells her mother she’s doing….
“And that little lie made the big difference. It led to the ten minutes I could never get back, never undo.”
***Possibly minor spoilers ***
During the fallout her family ends up moving and her mother declares that “all that business” is never to be talked about again. I can’t imagine living in a family where nothing is discussed. Some days I wonder if I do too much talking. (Lord knows I do too much typing!).
Thirty years later, Lydia is happily married to husband Mark and life seems perfect. Her husband’s business is doing well and her own wedding business is flourishing. She has two wonderful children. A son, Jamie who’s sixteen and a daughter Izzy who’s thirteen. Deep down though she feel that at any moment the truth will come out and destroy all that is good in her life.
When she takes on the added responsibility of acting as chairwoman of the fundraising committee at school, a familiar face joins the group. Just like that it seems her past may have caught up with her.
I REALLY wanted to know what the lie was. I thought the build up was good. You can see how lies and keeping secrets can affect everyone, even years later.
Lydia also has to deal with her judgemental mother, who she feels she can never please. Her mother would often say things like “it’s wonderful how you’ve moved on from all that…you know…” or “It hasn’t turned out so badly, considering” (when she was just about to walk down the aisle to marry Mark) and even “We’ll keep an eye on this one, we don’t want history repeating itself” (when one of Lydia’s children were born). This made me want to know EXACTLY what had happened “that day”.
Even after finding out what happened, I was still completely immersed in the story. I thought it was well-written and it kept me engaged until the very end. Lydia’s inner dialogue really did have me laughing out loud at times as did the antics of the often naughty (but hilarious) family dog, Mabel.
Some people may feel that the “lie” isn’t big enough to cause so much damage but I tried to imagine keeping secrets from everyone for so many years. As well as the anxiety at the thought of things coming out at any moment and possibly ruining my life.
Although it is a fiction book, there were times that it felt quite realistic. The characters were very well-developed. Especially Lydia, someone with flaws and baggage but a great heart. Made me think of the damaging effects of lies and keeping secrets and how betrayed you could feel finding out someone you love has been keeping so many secrets from you. As well as how the guilt about the past could be preventing you from embracing your future.
I loved the 80’s references. Growing up as a teenager in the same time period, it made me nostalgic. Made me think of some of the choices I wished I hadn’t made but relieved they didn’t turn into anything that would haunt me for years to come. Thankful that I came through it relatively unscathed.
I really did enjoy this book and will definitely be looking for more books from Kerry Fisher.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and Kerry Fisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.