The Lies Between Us by Marian Dillon

I really liked the way that this book was written. Each chapter had a part of the story told from Kathleen’s point of view, mostly in the 1960s, while the other part was narrated from the perspective of her daughter Eva in the 1980s. The Kathleen we meet as Eva’s mother is not a pleasant person. She is cold towards her daughter, drinks far too much and is something of a flirt despite being married to Vince, who seems such a lovely man. The Kathleen we read of in the 1960s is very different, a young woman just beginning a new job and in the flush of first love. All is going well with her life until something happens which then affects her, and consequently her family, for years to come.

There were parallels in both parts of the story. Both women were involved with older men who their families didn’t quite see as suitable. The theme of grief and loss is strong showing the far-reaching effects they have on several of characters (can’t say more about who or what without spoilers!). Marian Dillon really captured the feelings of her characters and made me feel sympathetic towards Kathleen even when she was so awful to her family in the later part of the story. Although I have mostly focussed on Kathleen in this review, her daughter Eva was a strong character too. She seemed a very mature young woman, desperate to connect with her mother even though they had such a strained relationship.

My only criticism of this book is that I would have liked it to be a bit longer! The final two chapters jumped forward several years in time and I would have liked to know more about what had happened to the characters in the intervening years. Having said that, I thought that Marian Dillon concluded the book well, with a satisfying ending for all her characters. A well written story which I recommend to anyone who enjoys stories with strong characters and family secrets to be revealed.

My thanks to the publishers Carina UK for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Lies Between Us was published on 13th August and you can buy a copy here: The Lies Between Us.

Book description:

Every family has secrets … but some keep them better than others. Eva has always felt like a disappointment in her mother’s eyes, but even more so now that she has failed her exams. She is working part-time while she studies for her resits, dreaming of when she can go to university, and get away from her family. Her mum, Kathleen, is drinking even more than usual these days, and the void between them is deepening. They say you never get over your first love, and Kathleen knows that more than most. She met Rick when she was sixteen, and was swept away by his charm and charisma. But their romance stayed behind closed doors and, years on, Kathleen still bears the scars of what he put her through. And Eva has not been an easy child to love. As Eva and Kathleen struggle to connect, will the very thing that drove them apart be the one thing that can finally bring them together?

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