On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the second novel by Harriet Tyce, The Lies You Told.
Sadie loves her daughter and will do anything to keep her safe.
She can’t tell her why they had to leave home so quickly – or why Robin’s father won’t be coming with them to London.
She can’t tell her why she hates being back in her dead mother’s house, with its ivy-covered walls and its poisonous memories.
And she can’t tell her the truth about the school Robin’s set to start at – a school that doesn’t welcome newcomers.
Sadie just wants to get their lives back on track.
There are so many characters in The Lies You Told who will get under your skin. When Harriet Tyce first introduces us to her protagonist, Sadie, she is just moving back to her home town, and into the home, she lived in as a child. But the place is full of dark memories for Sadie. It isn’t exactly a happy move, but at the moment she has little choice after breaking up with her husband who lives in the States. Things really begin to change when Sadie enrols her daughter, Robin at her old school and Sadie is introduced to a group of mums. They appear to be in control of everything that goes on with the school and with the wider community. Sadie soon finds herself ostracized from the group, and it is clear that they are willing to do anything to make her and her daughter’s life a living hell.
There are some really dislikeable characters in this book. It was the group of women who Sadie is introduced to who I took a intense disliking to. If I’m honest, when I did start reading this book, it took me a long time to get into it. Harriet Tyce’s writing is very addictive, and it’s what kept me reading, but I struggled to connect to Sadie in the opening chapters. I could feel her frustration and anger though as she found herself and her daughter being bullied.
The part of the novel which I did find more interesting was the court case Sadie was taking part in. Like in her first novel, Harriet Tyce uses her knowledge of this field. Sadie is part of a team representing a young man. He has been accused of rape by a student of his. There are many who believe in his innocence, and he has amassed a small fan club on the outside. I found these scenes tense, and I really wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on.
I became more gripped to the plot by the second half of the novel. Things begin to change for Sadie, but I wondered about the motives behind this sudden move. I felt that there was something dark at play here, and I wanted to know what the final fall out was going to be.
I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed Blood Orange but Harriet Tyce’s writing will, I’m sure, make me keen to read another book by her.
Publication date: 23rd July 2020 (kindle) 20th August 2020 (paperback)
Print length: 314 pages
The Lies You Told is available to buy: