Today it is my pleasure to share my thoughts on What Lies Between Us, the latest offering from John Marrs. You are always guaranteed the thrills with a John Marrs book so when I had the chance to read an early copy I wasn’t about to say no. My thanks to Sophie Goodfellow for inviting me to join the tour and to publishers Thomas and Mercer for the advance copy. Here’s what the book is about:
About the Book
Nina can never forgive Maggie for what she did. And she can never let her leave.
They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.
Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can’t ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.
But there are many things about the past that Nina doesn’t know, and Maggie is going to keep it that way—even if it kills her.
Because in this house, the truth is more dangerous than lies.Available from: Amazon | Hive
And I thought I had a dysfunctional relationship with my mother … We had nothing on Nina and Maggie. Absolutely nothing whatsoever …
Well I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked up this book but it wasn’t this. I mean, sure, there are some pretty hefty hints in the blurb. You can’t really miss them, but still.
The story is split into two points of view – those of Maggie and her daughter Nina. It is really interesting seeing the world from the two women’s polar opposite points of view as while, at the beginning, we’re pretty sure we know who is the aggressor and who the victim in this very toxic relationship, your thoughts and feelings will wax and wain as you read and by probably the halfway point you will be left with no idea who, if anyone, to trust.
It’s really hard to talk about the story without feeling as though I would give too much away. What I can say is that it’s a really interesting study of human nature. Of a person’s resilience in spite of seemingly overwhelming situations, and of the tenacity and strength that can help people endure even the hardest of circumstances. It certainly made me question the root cause of Nina’s decisions. Was it nature or nurture? I didn’t find either character particularly likeable and yet I was fascinated by the dynamic between them and keen to read more to try and find out exactly what had happened to bring them to where they were. Was finding out satisfying? I’ve got to be honest, I’m not sure. I think I understood them both better, even if it didn’t particularly make me like them more. It is a real skill taking characters you don’t like and making you want to read on about them anyway.
The ending was certainly shocking but quite fitting. It is a slower paced story and it takes a while to get to the reasons behind Maggie’s imprisonment. This is a story of obsession, of family and of the danger of keeping secrets. It is also the story of the hatred that can fester when you don’t move on or find closure. It had a claustrophobic feeling to it, not only driven by the fact that Maggie is locked in her own home, but by the fact that her’s and Nina’s worlds evolved only around each other. That there was never a break. It was certainly an intriguing premise, one that I am sure will have fans reading into the night.
About the Author
John Marrs is an author and former journalist based in London and Northamptonshire. After spending his career interviewing celebrities from the worlds of television, film and music for numerous national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time author. What Lies Between Us is his seventh book.
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