Her Mother’s Lies - Rona Halsall
Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley
‘She hasn’t told you, has she?’ He squeezed his eyes shut. She watched the muscles of his jaw tense. ‘I’m not your father.’ He was there for her first steps. He helped with her homework, and took her for ice cream at weekends. And then, two days before her ninth birthday, Martha’s father walked out. She never knew what went wrong, but she and her mother, Fran, never saw or heard from him again. Fifteen years later, Martha and Fran live in a remote, pretty cottage in Cornwall. Fran paints illustrations for children’s books, while Martha trains as an animal nurse at the local vet’s surgery. But then Martha sees a strange message on her mother’s phone – from her father. Desperate for answers, she tracks him down. Except when they come face-to-face, she isn’t ready for the brutal truth. He isn’t her father. Her mother has been telling lies. And not just about who her real father is…
I was really looking forward to reading this latest book by Rona Halsall as I really enjoyed ‘The Honeymoon’ earlier this year. However, I’m afraid this was nowhere near as enthralling. I almost gave up on it (at my cut off point of 25%) as it was just such a slow start. However, I read the other reviews on NetGalley and was assured it was worth sticking with for the twists at the end. So I did stick with it. The reviewers were correct; the twists are brilliant, shocking, and everything does come together. However, I’m not sure if they were worth getting through the first 80% of the book for. There was nothing majorly wrong with the majority of the book; it was just so slow. There are no little hooks to keep you turning the page. The characters are not that likeable. Martha really needed to give herself a shake and start being strong to be able to sort out all the problems that life was throwing at her. Yes, I did feel sorry for her, I’m not sure how any human could cope with everything that was going wrong, but she had such a weak personality. Fran was mildly interesting, she obviously has this big secret, but she has succumbed to the evils of addiction. So, unfortunately, I was disappointed by this book. It felt like hard work to get through it as it just wasn’t as gripping and as exciting as I would have expected. Maybe I had too high expectations from all the five-star reviews, or perhaps I was missing something, but this book just wasn’t for me, sorry! I am giving it three stars instead of two purely for the twisty ending.