Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Pact by SE Lynes alongside fellow bloggers The Writing Garnet and damppebbles. My thanks to Kim Nash of Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the tour and to Bookouture for providing an advance copy for review. Let’s take a look at what the book is all about.
About the Book
You made a promise to your sister. It could destroy your daughter.
15-year-old Rosie lies in hospital fighting for her life. She’s trying to tell her mother what happened to her, and how she got there, but she can’t speak the words out loud.
Rosie’s mother Toni has a secret. She had a traumatic childhood, and she and her sister Bridget made each other a promise thirty years ago: that they could never speak the truth about what they went through as children, and that they would protect each other without asking for help from others, no matter what…
Rosie was Toni’s second chance to get things right: a happy, talented girl with her whole life ahead of her. Having lost her husband in a tragic accident, Toni has dedicated her life to keeping Rosie safe from harm.
But Rosie has plans that her mother doesn’t know about. She has dreams and ambitions – of love, of a career, of a life beyond the sheltered existence that her mother has created for her. But the secrets Rosie has been keeping have now put her life in danger.
In order to save Rosie, Toni may have to break her lifelong promise to her sister… and open doors to her past she hoped would remain closed forever.
The Pact is a chilling psychological thriller about the lies we will tell to save our children. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Apple Tree Yard and The Sister.
Oh what a tangled web author SE Lynes has woven with her latest release, The Pact. Centred around a single mother, her daughter and her sister, this book has more threat and menace than a tarantula poised at the edge of said web, and more thrills than any fairground ride. It’s a corker of a read and no mistake.
Now without going to far into the plot, The Pact sees us join Toni, Bridget and Rosie at a very difficult and vulnerable time. Rosie is in serious trouble, having made a very grave mistake, one she can only dream of being able to apologise for. Toni is fraught with worry, Bridget full of regret and Rosie … Well – you need to read to understand. The book is a thrilling combination of past and present as the family recount the months leading up to that fateful day when we first meet them. And what a story this is. Rosie – the aspiring actress who suffers terribly with her nerves. Aunt Bridget – her inspiration and the secret antidote to Toni, her over protective mother.
Toni is a wonderful walking juxtaposition. She is over protective of her daughter, taking things to extremes in terms of protecting her by limiting her social media contacts, weekly monitoring of all her accounts. Basically patrolling anything and everything that Rosie does. She is a teenage girls worst nightmare and it is easy to see why Rosie may suffer with her confidence. There are reasons for her being so protective and as you read you will uncover them. Least of them all is the sad story of what happened to Rosie’s father when Rosie was just a young child. Toni drove me nuts at times, so uptight, but then she would do something so seemingly out of character, usually when it was just her and Bridget, that you realise she may be human after all.
Rosie was your typical teen, anxious to be liked, desperate to be loved and only wanting to make a success of her dream of being an actress like her Aunty Bridget. Her naivety is peppered with an awareness of the dangers of modern life instilled in her by her mother, but she is a teenager after all and likely to make the same faux pas I think we have all made at times. I did like her, I understood her need for independence, but I could also see exactly where this was going to lead.
Bridget is brilliant character. Kind of wild compared to her uptight sister, her down to earth attitude was a calming influence on those around her. However her simply being there scuppers the plans of others somewhat and you will need to understand why. Bridget has sacrificed a lot for her family, her own life tinged with regret, but she was a strong and kind woman who I really liked.
Now there are scenes in this book which will shock and scenes which will appear inevitable. I liked the way the narrative moved between the three women in the present and the memories from the past, slowly building the tension and adding to the dramatic feel of the read. Yes there were a couple of times when I was all ‘gah – just tell me already’ not because I was impatient to see it end, but because the tension tightly wound by this point that I felt like something, possibly me, was about to go pop.
The book touches upon subjects which have been a concern of parents for many years, stories which, of late, have become all too common on the nightly news. Not just modern cases but historic ones, making this a very poignant subject. It should also serve to remind parents that while they may think they control their children, they are more savvy than you may realise. It is best to foster honesty and support than drive their actions underground perhaps. I’m no parent, so I’m not best placed to comment and, at the end of the day, kids will be kids, but there was something so claustrophobic about Toni’s actions at times I could understand what drove Rosie to make the mistakes she made.
The ending, the deadly bite from that ever-present giant spider at the edge of the web … Well it’s a good un. You may think you know but your won’t. There are clues dropped throughout but whilst the winds kept blowing my reasoning back and forth, it wasn’t until nearly the end that the penny really dropped. Shocking, perhaps a little sickening, but not gratuitous, it is hard to think about, but so carefully and skilfully executed. Well done Ms Lynes.
The Pact is out now and available from the following retailers:
About the Author
After graduating from Leeds University, S E Lynes lived in London before moving to Aberdeen to be with her husband. In Aberdeen, she worked as a producer at BBC Radio Scotland before moving with her husband and two young children to Rome. There, she began to write while her children attended nursery. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University. She now combines writing with lecturing at Richmond Adult Community College and bringing up her three children. She lives in Teddington.
Make sure to check out some of the other brilliant blogs taking part in this tour.