Title: Everyday Lies
Author: Louise Guy
Published: May 1st 2017
Publisher: Go Direct Publishing
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Australian
Rating: 5 stars
For Emma and Lucie, the art of lying appears all too easy . . .
Emma Wilson has it all. Beauty, wealth, a loving and successful husband. But appearances can be deceptive. Bored and restless, her need for more fuels a dangerous craving; one she intends to keep hidden. Against her husband’s wishes and trapped in a deep web of lies, Emma returns to the family and hometown she left seventeen years earlier. Here, her lies magnify, threatening to destroy her marriage and all she holds dear.
Widowed and struggling financially and emotionally, Lucie Andrews is pushed to her limits. Delayed grief combined with an obstinate five-year-old drive her to rash decisions and reckless behavior, the consequences of which she is determined to keep secret. For Lucie, the most damaging lies are not the ones she tells others, but those she tells herself.
Thrown together by circumstance, will friendship be strong enough for Emma and Lucie to survive the fallout from their lies, or will the fragile threads of their lives continue to unravel?
Lies. Big lies or little lies – they are a normal part of our lives, affecting the relationships we have with our friends, family and with ourselves. Louise Guy, a fresh voice in Australian women’s fiction, brings us Everyday Lies, a powerful story about three women and the web of lies they weave into their everyday lives.
Louise Guy places two very different main protagonists at the head of her first venture into Australian women’s fiction, or a genre better known as ‘life lit’. Emma Wilson is our first protagonist. Emma is a trophy wife, who seems to have the world at her feet. However, Emma’s boredom and lack of satisfaction in her life has resulted in a criminal misdemeanour. This also follows a string of lies she has told her husband, family and acquaintances to save her appearance. The second main protagonist to fill the pages of Guy’s addictive book, is Lucie Andrews, a widowed mother, with an unruly five year old son to care for. Lucie has been struggling financially and emotionally since her husband passed away, which is understandable. What is not as understandable are the lies that Lucie has spun to cover her recent behaviour. These involve both some inattentive driving episodes and a daily overindulgence on wine. Things come to a head for both women when the secrets they hoped would stay buried, come to the surface. Emma and Lucie are both forced to confront their lies and pay for their mistakes. It comes as a blessing in disguise, as this unusual situation breeds a friendship between these two very different women. This life changing situation also introduces Emma and Lucie to a feisty 79 year old lady Florrie, a woman Lucie and Emma never realised they needed in their lives until now.
There are plenty of positive reviews for Everyday Lies, from a combination of readers, fellow reviewers and talented Australian authors I admire. I have to concur with all of their endorsements of Everyday Lies, it is a truly is a fantastic read. Louise Guy has certainly made a splash on the Australian women writers circuit, with this compelling addition to the domestic fiction genre.
Lies are a part of human nature, whether we like it or not. Guy tackles this very normal aspect of our lives and transforms it into a highly readable novel. Everyday Lies tackles the little white lies we might use from time to time to embellish our lives within the narrative. Guy also puts the spotlight on the lies we tell ourselves. She adeptly shows us, through the journey each character in the novel takes, just how hard these types of lies are hard to confront. Often we spin these lies to avoid confronting an issue head on, or we continue to exist within a life surrounded by lies, as it simply is far easier. Either way, I was extremely pleased with the way Guy handled the main theme of her novel.
In addition to lies, there are a number of other subject matters that are touched on in Everyday Lies. Lucie’s story enables us to learn about much more about how grief touches our lives. It also gives us an understanding of how vulnerable the bereaved are to situations or people who are unhealthy for their healing process. Lucie’s dependence on alcohol to drown out her problems, gives Guy room to explore alcoholism and dangerous driving. Through Lucie’s relationship with her son, we also have a storyline that focuses on troubled child/adult relationships. All these were handled with direct insight, as well as emotional sensitivity.
Emma’s story is a little different to Lucie’s, but her part in the novel brings some other interesting subject matters into play. Emma’s character allows Guy to look critically at the perfect wife/perfect life construction and the fallout from Emma’s shopping addiction. Family is also an important thread that runs through Emma’s story, as we learn early on in the novel that Emma and her husband have been estranged from their families. When Florrie enters Emma and Lucie’s lives, Guy offers up an introspective look at the power of friendship, ageing, loneliness and the treatment of our elderly. What is overwhelmingly clear from all three of these main players in Everyday Lies, is that their stories, as well as their characteristics, are painted with a strong brush of realism.
The action of Everyday Lies is set in Queensland, with the novel moving seamlessly between life in the city, to the tranquil surrounds of Rainbow Bay. I really liked the depiction of Rainbow Bay. Guy’s descriptions of this region are very vivid and give the reader a good sense of place. I also enjoyed the focus on the revitalisation of Rainbow Bay. It reminded me of my own coastal home town in Western Australia, which definitely needs a facelift, similar to the one Rainbow Bay receives in Everyday Lies.
Everyday Lies was a novel I just couldn’t put down. The book was paced perfectly and I was completely hooked on Everyday Lies from the very start. Likewise, I found the structure of the novel ideal. I was pleased that Guy chose to organise the book around the alternating chapter voices of Emma and Lucie, with a final chapter devoted to Florrie. It was a technical decision that definitely drew me further into this novel. When I finished Everyday Lies, I continued to think about the characters, who all seemed get under my skin and work their way into my heart. If I think about a book long after I have closed the last page, I always believe it is a sign that it is a book that resonated with me and it should with all readers. Therefore, Everyday Lies receives a five star endorsement from me. Louise Guy definitely has a bright future ahead of her in the Australian women’s fiction field and I am very keen to hear more from her in the future.
Everyday Lies by Louise Guy was published in May 2017 by Go Direct Publishing. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
Learn more about the author of Everyday Lies, Louise Guy here.
*(Please note I received a complimentary copy of this novel via a giveaway hosted by Theresa Smith Writes).