The Truth In A Lie is written from the perspective of Charlotte. We meet her as she is moving from her old home into a new apartment after the break up of her relationship. She has a daughter, Kate, who is at university and awaiting exam results. Charlotte was previously married to Duncan but their relationship broke down and he is now happily remarried with two sons. Unfortunately Charlottes’s mother ends up requiring surgery and as Charlotte waits for news in the hospital, Duncan turns up out of the blue. He was very fond of his mother-in-law but to travel during a blizzard seems above and beyond, but is it?
This is a book which takes a close look at relationships and how fragile they can be when held up to scrutiny, and how looking back at a childhood through adult eyes can be both enlightening and heartbreaking. I found reading about the relationship between Charlotte and her mother and her father to be particularly interesting. It made me consider how I perceived my parents when I was a growing up and now looking back how perhaps I may have misjudged aspects and not really given enough importance to their thoughts and feelings. I suppose that is not so unusual, hindsight being a wonderful thing and teenagers knowing everything and nothing simultaneously. It does seem like relationships between mothers and daughters are often strained in a way that is never completed replicated between daughters and their fathers. As a parent I feel slightly worried about future battles with my child and how fine a line there is to walk between harmony and tension. There are aspects to her parents’ relationship with each other which were not discussed and not known to many and I wonder how the story might have been different had these never come to light. Clearly this would have been an entirely different book so this is simply idle speculation on my part. The appearance of Duncan at the hospital was interesting. We didn’t know lots about his relationship with Charlotte at this point and I enjoyed finding out more about their past as the story went on.
The Truth in a Lie is written at a gentle pace but is definitely not slow. I read it in three short sittings and found myself pondering parts of the book in between times. The story unfolds gradually and takes time to build the key characters into three dimensional beings rather than a few adjectives thrown onto a page. I quite liked how there was a small central cast as I feel like I got to know them and start to understand them as the book went on. I think it is a relatable book in the sense that there are very few families who have absolutely wonderful relationships all the time with no secrets hidden away from each other so I think we can all identify with some aspects. The only thing I wasn’t keen on in this story was a few little snippets in the hospital where the anaesthetics and surgical teams were poor at communicating with Charlotte. However, I entirely accept that whilst that is not the norm where I work, there are bound to be plenty of times where people have experienced this and therefore it is entirely fair game to be written about!
This is a lovely thought provoking read and one which should have a wide appeal. It is the first of Jan Turk Petrie’s books that I have read and I am curious about her others, particularly her Eldísvík novels so shall be investigating further! Thank you for my place on this #blogtour!
About Jan Turk Petrie:
Jan Turk Petrie lives in the Cotswolds, S.W. England. She is the author of the fast paced Nordic thriller series: the Eldísvík novels. All three of these novels are set in 2068 in a fictional city state just below the artic circle. ‘Until the Ice Cracks’ – the first of the trilogy was published in July 2018. Volume Two – ‘No God for a Warrior’ was published in November 2018. The third and final volume – ‘Within Each Other’s Shadow’ was published in April 2019 The ebook boxset – The Eldísvík Trilogy was published in August 2019. Jan’s fourth novel – ‘Too Many Heroes’ – a gripping new post-war thriller set in the East End of London was published in August 2019. She is currently working on her next book – ‘Towards the Vanishing Point.’ A former English teacher with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Gloucestershire, Jan has also written numerous, prize-winning short stories. Check her out on Twitter @TurkPetrie