Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m posting my review of Adele Park’s compelling psychological thriller, ‘Lies Lies Lies’. I absolutely adored this book – so much so that’s it going straight on my favourites bookshelf! Keep reading to discover my thoughts…
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.
And so what if Simon drinks a bit too much sometimes – Daisy’s used to it, she knows he’s letting off steam. Until one night at a party things spiral horribly out of control. And that happy little family of three will never be the same again.
** TRIGGER WARNING ** Explores the theme of substance abuse and alcoholism in great detail. The novel details a devastating car accident, and the subsequent trauma and negative emotions surrounding this. The theme of domestic abuse, particularly physical and emotional violence, is also incorporated in the novel. Sexual abuse, including references to rape, are also included. Fertility issues also play a part in the novel’s subject matter.
‘Lies Lies Lies’ was published on 5th September 2019 and is Adele Park’s 19th novel. She has published 2 historical novels and 17 contemporary novels, which consist of her most recent psychological thrillers: ‘I Invited Her In’ (2018), ‘The Image Of You’ (2018) and ‘The Stranger In My Home’ (2017). Parks was born in North-East England and now lives in Surrey with her family.
The book has received many positive reviews, from the likes of Heat: “A gripping, visceral portrait of the disintegration of a marriage”, OK: “A gripping and unpredictable read hiding some deliciously dark secrets and lies” and Woman’s Weekly: “The ultimate read for fans of domestic noir”. Many fellow authors also praised the book, such as Alice Feeney: “An utterly gripping, dark, addictive read”, Veronica Henry: “Brilliant, moving and deeply satisfying” and Jane Corry: “[Parks’] twists about human nature form the icing on the cake”.
‘Lies Lies Lies’ tells the story of Daisy and Simon, whose marriage begins to crumble when Simon’s drinking gets out of control. Their miracle daughter Millie is the only thing holding the family together – but what happens when the foundations holding the family together begin to crack?
The narrative focuses on Daisy and Simon, with each chapter alternating between the two. Daisy’s narration is told via the first-person in the form of diary entries, whereas Simon’s narration is from the third-person. The variation in narrative style allows the reader to get an in-depth perspective to the characters’ thoughts, feelings and emotions, whilst also providing a distanced account of the plot. The narrative is easy to follow, yet still very effective.
My favourite character in the novel is Daisy. She’s a devoted wife and mother, and will do anything to keep her family together. But when Simon’s drinking gets too much, she retreats into herself, and begins to lose sight of who she really is. I felt a great deal of sympathy towards Daisy; she’s constantly making excuses for Simon’s behaviour and she attempts to hide the wreckage that is their marriage from daughter Millie. However, it soon becomes clear that Daisy has a few skeletons in her closet, and there are secrets that she has buried deeply. Daisy faces her toughest challenge yet: will she continue lying to keep her family together, or will she finally tell the truth? Daisy is an excellently written, three-dimensional character, and I related to her a lot.
Simon is another fantastically written character. Upon first glance, he is certainly the villain of the novel: he’s extremely selfish and reckless, and is destroying his family with his excessive drinking. He’s unappreciative of his wife’s efforts, and continues to allow her to pick up the pieces he has left behind. However, there is much more to Simon that first meets the eye, and it soon becomes clear that he is not necessarily all bad. He finally realises what’s important in his life, and he makes the ultimate sacrifice to keep his family together. I really enjoyed finding out more about Simon as the novel went on.
Daisy and Simon’s daughter Millie is their miracle child. After years of trying (and failing) to conceive, Millie comes along when the couple least expect it. Millie is a sweet, innocent child, and her parents love her dearly. She has an exceptionally bright future ahead of her, and is liked by everyone who knows her. But one night, her childhood is cut short, and her life changes forever. Millie must come to terms with the fact that she will never be the free, happy child she once was – a truly heartbreaking realisation. I felt a great deal of sympathy towards Millie throughout the novel.
Other characters in the novel include: Connie, Luke, Lucy, Peter and Daryll (Daisy and Simon’s friends), India (Millie’s friend), Rose and Craig (Daisy’s sister and brother-in-law), Elsie (Simon’s mother), and various fellow prison inmates. There is a reasonably-sized cast of characters within the novel, but all bring something fresh and exciting.
** TRIGGER WARNING ** (I apologise for any spoilers here.) The novel explores the theme of substance abuse, specifically alcoholism, in great detail. Parks explores how excessive drinking greatly affects an individual and those around them, and can completely tear apart a marriage and family. The novel details a devastating car accident caused by drink driving, and the subsequent trauma and feelings of guilt and regret surrounding the event. Part of the novel is set in a prison, and Parks details what prison life is really like. The theme of domestic abuse, particularly physical and emotional violence, is incorporated within the novel. Sexual abuse, including references to rape, are also included. Finally, fertility issues are discussed within the novel, and the emotional strain caused by difficulties to conceive. These issues are all explored with appropriate sensitivity – but if you feel that any of these issues may trigger a negative response, I suggest you skip this book.
As the narrative motors onwards, Daisy’s secrets threaten to emerge, and she must work hard to protect her remaining family. Millie struggles to adjust to her life after the accident, and Simon also must learn to cope with his new circumstances. Will Daisy continue lying, or will she tell the truth?
So, let’s talk about the ending! There’s a dramatic end scene in which tensions reach their climax, and the characters find themselves in a life or death situation. Despite their previous difficulties, the family must work together in order to save one another from danger. The end scene is jam-packed full of action – I was utterly hooked, and couldn’t tear my eyes away! The ending was fantastic, and I was really satisfied with the way in which Parks ties all the events together.
Overall, I highly recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy psychological thrillers, particularly domestic/family dramas. With plenty of mystery and suspense, exceptionally written characters, and lots of twists and turns – what more could you want? I absolutely loved this book, and couldn’t fault it if I tried! It is the latest addition to my favourites bookshelf.
Happy reading 🙂