George and Martha have things they’d rather keep hidden from each other: private thoughts, desires and secrets which, if discovered, could cause untold shame. But to an outsider they appear to have a happy, contented and conventional family life. At their twins’ Fred and Delilah’s twenty-first birthday party events conspire to uncover disturbing emotional connections, and threaten to reveal a past that has long been concealed. Soon after, a holiday designed to repair the damage exposes further rifts that could spread beyond the family and possibly change their futures forever. As a GP, Martha is used to helping her patients mend physically and mentally, but can she do the same for her husband and children, or will the ensuing damage leave wounds that will never heal?
Martha Wilshire and husband George appear to have a happy life to those around them. Martha works as a GP and George has his own successful career too, something which takes him away from home on a fairly regular basis. Their children Fred and Delilah are twins and are both away studying, but with their twenty-first birthday fast approaching they are returning home to celebrate with their family at a party that is being held at their Aunt and Uncle’s house.
Martha is struggling with the party being organised by someone other than herself, and certainly burdens an overwhelming sense of ‘mum-guilt’, as I am sure other parents can quite openly admit to. The birthday party and a family holiday are all it takes for this seemingly perfect family to begin showing cracks in their relationships, and secrets that they have fought to keep hidden from one another over the years threaten to come crashing down around them, and bring with them some unimaginable consequences.
The description for this book captured my interest from the start. This is a character driven story and perfectly highlights the many ways in which we are all flawed in our own ways. There are many layers of deceit and long held secrets that have the ability to turn lives upside down. The storyline itself is perfectly structured and firmly holds your attention to the very last page.
Each of the characters are well fleshed out and realistic, and some are relatable at times too. The author does a wonderful job of giving you an insight as to who they are as individuals, providing each character with their own voice and traits that play pivotal rolls within the story. A wonderfully written, captivating read that I read in one day.
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About the Author
Elizabeth Forbes was born and raised on the Isle of Wight and now lives in Herefordshire with her husband, two dogs and two hens. She published three romantic thrillers under the name Elizabeth Harrington: The Corporate Wife, Making Up and Daddy Darling. She then took a break from writing and enrolled with the Open University to study for a degree in Literature. She completed her BA with First Class Honours, and also achieved the OU’s Diploma in Creative Writing. Her first psychological suspense novel, Nearest Thing to Crazy, was published by Cutting Edge Press in 2013. BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and the Mail Online featured the novel because of its gaslighting subject matter. It was a bestseller in Amazon UK’s psychological thriller charts. Her second novel published by Cutting Edge Press in 2014 was Who Are You? which is a dark and twisty tale focussing on the stormy marriage of two people affected by PTSD and childhood trauma. Elizabeth has recently re-published these novels independently with Amazon KDP, and plans to publish a new novel in the summer of 2021.
*Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours and Elizabeth Forbes for providing me with a gifted copy of this book in return for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.*