Title: Tiny White Lies
Author: Fiona Palmer
Published: July 28th 2020
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4.5 stars
Two families escape the rat race to holiday at a remote coastal retreat, but what lies are they telling themselves and each other? The new family drama by beloved Australian storyteller Fiona Palmer
Ashley has recently lost her husband. Daughter Emily is being bullied online.
Best friend Nikki is holding a huge secret. And why is husband, Chris, receiving so many text messages lately?
Their teenage children are glued to technology, be it PlayStation, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat . . .
The two women hatch a plan: for three weeks, both families will stay in a rustic, remote coastal camp with no phone reception. While the teenagers struggle to embrace this new world of self-entertaining in the rugged bushland, the adults are trying to maintain a certain facade. Soon, around the flames of the camp fire, their tiny white lies might just begin to be exposed.
‘A sea change would indeed be good for them all.’
West Australian author Fiona Palmer has really found her place within the contemporary life literature genre. In Tiny White Lies, the reader is presented with a compelling and authentic presentation of a multitude of common life problems. From family issues, teenagers, infidelity, medical strains, friendship, new love and mental illness, Tiny White Lies is a pensive read.
Tiny White Lies follows the trials and tribulations of two families. When things come tumbling down for both families, they decide to retreat to the calming influence of the ocean at a secluded coastal camping spot. With no reception, it is a chance for each and every family member to slow down and appreciate life. Ashley knows that this vacation is much needed, especially after the shock loss of her husband. But Ashley has new worries in her life, apart from being a widow, her daughter is being bullied online. Meanwhile, Ashley’s best friend Nikki is dealing with her own crisis and it one that she doesn’t want to reveal. In addition, Nikki’s husband Chris has been telling some tiny white lies of his own. Each day at the camp brings about new challenges, for the younger residents, it is dealing with the break from technology, while the adults must face some hard truths. One thing is certain, when this camping trip is over, life will never be the same again.
Fiona Palmer’s contribution to the contemporary fiction life lit genre has been a success to date. Although I am a big fan of Palmer’s rural romance titles (I have read them all) I do love her work in the contemporary fiction genre. Tiny White Lies proved to be a book that I was able to connect to on many levels, the characters were relatable, the situations they faced were authentic and their responses were believable. Best of all, Tiny White Lies is set in my own home state and in one of the most picturesque areas of our stunning south west region. What a great endorsement for Western Australia!
Tiny White Lies is told via a present to past style narrative, through the eyes of two protagonists, Ashley and Nikki. I really couldn’t decide which one of these women I liked the most, I definitely connected with both of them. Palmer’s characterisation is clear and realistic. I felt every emotion these women experienced and it was easy to get caught up in their thoughts, dramas and innermost feelings. There are moments of joy, simple understanding, appreciation and crushing lows. The side characters do a good job of stabilising the leads. From the partners, to the love interests and children, each of these supporting characters have an essential part to play in the overall proceedings of the book.
The setting really was a wow moment for me. It isn’t too often that I come across such a familiar location backdrop, so I relished Fiona Palmer’s descriptions of our spectacular south west. I loved how Palmer used the setting as a form of healing, peace, nurture, recollection and self-reflection. Enforcing a technology ban due to the lack of coverage in the area was even better! I appreciated how well Palmer explored issues of technology obsession, especially in the teen age bracket.
Palmer takes on some weighty issues in this novel, especially in regards to emotional fragility. From strained marital relations, infidelity, anxiety, depression, suicide, online bullying, peer pressure, friendship, medical issues, illness, new love, embracing change, self-image and self-confidence, Tiny White Lies covers a lot of emotional territory. These common problems are presented with insight, understanding and sensitivity. The overarching theme of the little lies we tell ourselves or our loved ones to protect them proved to be a meaningful axis point for this novel.
Tiny White Lies is an impassioned tale that will no doubt move many readers. Fiona Palmer’s latest contribution to the life literature genre offers an insightful glimpse into the complicated lives of families coping with an array of common modern day issues. Filled with heart, Tiny White Lies is novel that I highly recommend.
Tiny White Lies by Fiona Palmer is published by Hachette Australia on July 28th 2020. $32.99.
To learn more about the author of Tiny White Lies, Fiona Palmer visit here.
*Thanks is extended to Hachette Australia for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.