Updated: Aug 17
A Mother Never Lies by Sarah Clarke
SOME TRUTHS CAN’T BE TOLD.
I had the perfect life – a nice house, a loving husband, a beautiful little boy.
But in one devastating night, they were all ripped from me.
It's been fourteen years, and I’m finally ready to face the past.
I’m taking my son back.
He just can’t know who I am…or why we were torn apart.
A nail-biting thriller packed with shocking twists, perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Shalini Boland.
About the Author
Sarah Clarke started writing psychological thrillers when she was 7. She says her teachers raised an eyebrow but it didn't dampen her enthusiasm for the genre. After studying for a degree in Politics & International Relations, travelling the world for 6 years, and completing 5 ski seasons, she moved to London and became a copywriter, wife and mother. In 2018 she enrolled on the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course and finally learned the craft she loved. She joined HQ Digital in March 2020 and A Mother Never Lies is her debut novel.
For a debut novel, this is possibly one of the most artfully written books I’ve read in the past twelve months. The story has an immediate hook as we meet Phoebe who, after fourteen years, has returned to her parents’ home in London on the pretext of finding a job. Clearly something devastating has happened to her as we witness her experiencing a panic attack in a tube and then we meet her unconventional but highly likeable parents, Flora and Paul who clearly have their own heartache.
As the reality of Phoebe’s situation begins to unfold, the suspense sets in, powering me through the novel at a monumental speed to find out what had happened when Charlie was 4 for him to have been taken into care and adopted but despite the prospect that Phoebe may have done something outrageous for this to have happened, I was still desperately behind her cause in her search of the local schools to find him just before Charlie, who is now called Ben, turns 18.
The emotional connection with Phoebe is immediate but overriding it all was how she came to be in this position. And what happened to her husband, Charlie’s father. The epilogue does not give the game away and it didn’t put me off that it could have been something horrific. But as a mother myself you can imagine the devastation of Phoebe’s world and despite Charlie having been placed with a family who clearly love him, I wanted nothing more than for Charlie and Phoebe to have a conciliation and for her to find some peace through all of the years of ultimate hurt and betrayal.
On top of it all, I was keen to find out what Phoebe’s parents’ involvement with it all was as I felt there was clearly something bubbling under the surface of it all and the reason behind her parents’ alcoholism despite finding them utterly endearing.
When Phoebe finally meets Charlie, she makes decisions that are clearly going to come with consequences for herself, for Charlie and for his adoptive parents.
The novel was beautifully written despite the horrors that threatened to lurk in the closet and the suspense builds perfectly to a nail-biting conclusion.
All in all, a good read that I would recommend.
Book available for pre-order – release date – 27th August 2021:-
Date of review: 16.08.2021