The Lie by Hilary Boyd
Updated: Feb 18, 2020
The closer the couple, the bigger the lie . . .
Romy and Michael have it all. Over 30 years of marriage, two grown-up sons, a beautiful London home as well as a weekend bolthole by the sea. If Romy's had to sacrifice some of her dreams along the way to support Michael's high-flying legal career, then it's been a price worth paying.
Until the arrival of a letter changes everything.
At first Romy can't believe what it is saying. That Michael - an upholder of the law, with an unwavering sense of right and wrong - could do something so terrible.
But then other lies start to emerge and she starts to wonder who the man she's shared her heart, her bed, the best years of her life with, really is.
Walking away should be the start of a new chapter for Romy. But an urgent telephone call brings her back into Michael's life - and propels her into the past and the allegations which ended their marriage.
Innocent or guilty? Truth or lie? How well can you ever know those closest to you?
From the moment you open the book you are launched straight into the story. Romy has left her husband and is taking up residence at their weekend cottage. After a few chapters the letter is revealed and the facts of why Romy left are shared. What was really interesting was Michael's behaviour when Romy confronts him about the content, it definitely left me questioning the authenticity of the letter.
As the novel unfolds you get a deeper insight into the complexity of Romy and Michael's relationship which I loved. After being with someone for so many years and bringing up children it was hard not to empathise with Romy and see how torn she was. Where would your loyalties lie? With someone who you have loved and lived with for years or an anonymous stranger?
I really enjoyed this multilayered book: there was the cosy, romanticised setting of her small fisherman's cottage overlooking the Sussex harbour where Romy was trying to start the next chapter of her life; the mystery surrounding the letter and strong need to get to the truth; the ties Romy has with her family and the pull they have on her to support them after Michael's health goes downhill. These themes of love, trust, motherhood, deception, romance and mystery were what made the novel very unique and intriguing. Along with the fact that I couldn't put it down. I loved that it was a page-turner with strong, older characters at the forefront of the story.
I must confess I did feel sympathetic towards Michael after his life-threatening medical condition. To go from being an independent, healthy, career driven male to needing 24 hour care is heartbreaking for anyone. And the dilemma Romy finds herself in is quite a twist in itself, especially as she was just starting to get her life on track. The ending was very fitting and perfectly balanced.
All in all The Lie was a well written novel which I found myself completely absorbed in and desperate to find out the truth. A thoroughly enjoyable read and one I definitely recommend. I will look forward to reading many more books by Hilary Boyd.
Thank you to Laura Nicol, Senior Publicity Manager at Michael Joseph, and to Hilary Boyd. The eBook is available 18th February if you cannot wait until the paperback publication in July.
Hilary Boyd was a nurse, marriage counsellor and ran a small cancer charity before becoming an author.
She has written eight books, including Thursdays in the Park, her debut novel which sold over half a million copies and was an international bestseller.
The film rights have been acquired by Charles Dance, who will be directing and starring.