The Lies Beneath by Lucy Callaghan

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller
The-Lies-Beneath-by-Lucy-OCallaghan

By Ita Roche

The Lies Beneath: A gripping tale of friendship, love, and the masks we wear…

So much more than just a tale of friendship love and betrayal. This debut, from the bestselling author, Lucy O’Callaghan, is a story that will get right under your skin and keep you turning the page.

Friendships are pushed to the limit – the secrets are raw, like damn raw, and lives are crushed in the process.

Carla, Emily, and Amanda are very relatable characters cleverly woven into a story of the trials and tribulations of family life.

Carla just wants to go back to work after the babies are born. She craves that connection to who she was before motherhood seemed to eradicate her identity. Perfectly natural. There is nothing as magnificent as holding your tiny baby in your arms, but 6 months of gooing and gaaing, and if you’re totally honest, you need some regular adult conversation to save your sanity.

On initial glance one would think Clara has it all. The big house – the idyllic location on the west coast of Ireland and a wealthy husband, and healthy happy kids to-boot. What’s not to love, right? For many women it would be more than enough, but not for Clara.

Behind the scenes she longs to return to her passion, which is teaching, but her husband Tom, is insistent there is no need as he is taking care of the family. And initially, one would think he just wants her to enjoy her time at home with their children. Smidgen of male machoism shining through under the guise that no wife of his would ever need to work.

But in fairness he is doing everything that is expected of a good husband and father to provide for the family, so we will allow him his ego, and, he clearly loves Clara. Or is he manipulating the situation with a hidden agenda? Is he passive aggressively keeping his wife where he wants her for his own ulterior motive?

Emily, who is Carla’s best friend, is in a totally opposite situation. She is exhausted from work and the responsibilities of being a single mom since separating from her husband. She longs to have a partner again and is dipping her toes into the dating world. They have been friends since forever, and the two women lean on each other for support. Carla is concerned for Emily’s safety with the men she is meeting with in her pursuit of happiness.

Inevitably, Emily’s longing to be in a stable relationship leads her to make a mistake with disastrous consequences. A mistake there is no undoing.

And then we have Amanda, who, to the world at large, is a wonderful outgoing friendly librarian. The type you’d just love to encounter when browsing for your next read. She’s even amazing with the children that come into the library. I really loved her in that role.

As for Amanda being a mother – now that’s a whole other bowl of spaghetti. Manipulating, condescending, over the top, wagon, if you’ll forgive me for using such strong terms, but seriously, the woman has some serious mommy/daughter issues with letting go of her student daughter.

I had Amanda issues reading this book – in an infuriated with that character’s behaviour, kind of way. I was totally committed to finding out if she ever got a grip on herself and cut poor Dawn some slack. I won’t lie – I was fit to throttle her.

Well, I’m a mom, I know empty nest syndrome is real, but ah here lads – even the eagle pushes the eaglet from the nest, so it learns how to fly and tackle the challenges of the downward swoop on its own. But not Amanda. Oh no.  Dawn, bless her dear heart, is suffocating under the strain and desperate to escape the control…

My closing thoughts on this novel –

I read on the publication leaflet that – hidden beneath the picture-perfect marriage, the enduring friendship and mother/daughter relationship lie betrayals that will shatter three families. And, that betrayal never comes from your enemies – and I think that this is one of the things I loved about this book.

It’s far more than just a gripping tale of deception. O’Callaghan handles real-life issues, with relatable characters and complexities the lie behind closed doors in society. What’s behind the façade that we are not privy to. And she handles it with class I might add. It was a joy to spend time with these characters and comprehend their predicament.

The-Lies-Beneath-by-Lucy-OCallaghanThere must be something in the air in Galway as there are some mighty stories stemming from, and about, that side of our island of late, and Lucy O’Callaghan is definitely one to watch.

A fabulous debut – 5 Stars. I cannot wait to read more from this author.

Fans of K.L. Slater and B.A. Paris Slater will love this.

© Ita Roche

Order your copy online here.

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