Her Mother's Lies Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
A gripping psychological thriller with a stunning twist
‘She hasn’t told you, has she?’ He squeezed his eyes shut. She watched the muscles of his jaw tense. ‘I’m not your father.’
He was there for her first steps. He helped with her homework, and took her for ice cream at weekends. And then, two days before her ninth birthday, Martha’s father walked out. She never knew what went wrong, but she and her mother, Fran, never saw or heard from him again.
Fifteen years later, Martha and Fran live in a remote, pretty cottage in Cornwall. Fran paints illustrations for children’s books, while Martha trains as an animal nurse at the local vet’s surgery.
But then Martha sees a strange message on her mother’s phone - from her father. Desperate for answers, she tracks him down.
Except when they come face-to-face, she isn’t ready for the brutal truth.
He isn’t her father.
Her mother has been telling lies.
And not just about who her real father is....
A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Paula Hawkins, Shalini Boland, and C. L. Taylor.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 19 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 23, 2019|
|Publisher||Hachette UK - Bookouture|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #170,982 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1,709 in Psychological Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#3,480 in Psychological Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#11,050 in Psychological Fiction (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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I am frustrated with reviews on this genre lately: is 'unputdownable' even a word?! Either way, this one was easy to put down, yet enjoyable to read. I didn't lose sleep reading it, so there's that.
Martha Taylor is 24 and going nowhere, slowly. Her mother, Fran, is 50, fat, lazy, diabetic, messy, broke, in debt, rude to clients, inefficient, impulsive, manipulative, and drinks too much. She’s also a fabulous childrens book illustrator and a loving, but needy and dependent mother. Martha can’t leave to make a life of her own because she is stuck taking care of her. Martha’s father, Greg MacKay, left them when she was 9, and they hadn’t seen him since. They moved to Cornwall back then with the help of a lovely landlord, Annie Betts. She owns 2 cottages, let’s Fran and Martha live there rent free until some repairs are done and rents out the neighboring cottage as a holiday let in between her visits. Anna is a children’s book author who hires Fran to illustrate for her.
Her boss, mentor, and father figure, Pete, a veterinarian, has helped her with college and planned to sponsor her to get her vet degree.
Martha is crushed when she finds out her boss, Pete, died of an aneurysm. There went her mentor, friend, father figure, income, future schooling, and promotion to assistant vet. Her mother depends on her income. Martha soon learns about Fran’s debt. There’s no way they can pay it off. Their utilities are also about to be cut off. Her mother had kept it all from her.
Martha has one friend she can confide in, Izzy Armitage, 38, whom she met at a pet show with her boss a year ago. She’s a psych nurse who gives Martha good advice. They live too far away to visit, but stay in touch via FaceTime
Martha finds out that her father changed his last name and is living nearby. She decides to track him down and show up unexpectedly at his house. Greg recognizes her, but freaks out and hurts her feelings. He tells her to leave. She gets mad and shoves him, he falls and hits hard. She runs away
To be finished
From the blurb:
What if the person you trust most in the world has been lying to you for your whole life?
Martha would do anything for her devoted mother, Fran. Now in her mid-twenties, Martha still lives with her in their remote, pretty cottage in the Cornish countryside. Fran paints illustrations, while Martha trains to be an animal nurse.
But then Martha sees a strange message on her mother’s phone – apparently from her estranged father.
He had been there for her first steps. He’d helped with her homework, and taken her for ice cream at weekends. And then, two days before her ninth birthday, he walked out. She never knew what went wrong, and she and Fran never heard from him again.
Desperate for answers, she tracks him down. But when they come face to face, she isn’t ready for the brutal truth.
Closing his eyes he says, ‘She hasn’t told you, has she? I’m not your father.’
Her mother has been telling lies. And not just about who her real father is…
There is a ton of introspection; much melodrama; and too much angst. Martha and Fran—the not-very-likable protagonists—are weak, pretty helpless, and frankly pathetic. Izzy is okay, until she isn’t. Anna is not believable as written, but neither are the HEA endings she sorta concocted for others. Everyone (except Anna) spend waaaaay too much time weeping and snotting, for my liking.
Author: this was your chance to inform readers about heart attack symptoms in women. OUR SYMPTOMS ARE NOT THE SAME AS MEN’S. The American Heart Association has good info about symptoms.
I was shocked at all the twists and lies revealed throughout the story. What a bunch of nuts! LOL I felt bad about the death, but glad that Martha's questions were answered.
And that ending was just perfect! Ms Halsall knows how to end a book with just the right touch! Thank you ma'am!
I did not enjoy this book but I finished it reluctantly out of my need to finish what I start. If you are the same, might I suggest you never start this one.
Top reviews from other countries
The story zips along at a cracking pace, barely giving the reader time to catch their breath before the next revelation comes storming along. The plotting is so taut and crisp that you occasionally want to applaud. Meanwhile, the characters are compelling, burdened with shadowy backstories, and are (usually) lying to a greater or lesser extent. The relationships between the main characters are particularly compelling. You’ll want to keep turning pages just to find out what the characters will reveal next.
(One thing I would flag is the occasion language towards mental health issues (SPOILERS HERE). A character is revealed to have spent time in a mental health facility as a teenager - they're referred to as having been "criminally insane" and the main character immediately starts worrying that they're "still dangerous". So, trigger warning for that.)
But, this niggle aside, this is a great book that will keep you guessing right up to the final pages. It’ll also make you question whether a lie is ever justified… even if it’s in your child’s best interests.
Martha who is now in her mid twenties lives in a remote cottage in the Cornish countryside with her mother Fran who paints illustrations. Martha notices a message on her mothers phone which appears to be off Martha’s estranged father. Her father walked out of the family home two days before her ninth birthday, no explanations, no goodbyes and she and Fran never heard from him again.
Martha feels she need answers to all the questions she keeps in her head and manages to track down her father. The problem is when she confronts him she is given answers that only make things harder to come to terms with. The man she believed was her father tells her mother Fran had lied and he was not her father after all.
I enjoyed this one, good characters, well written and a plot full of suspense.
"I couldn't put it down" is a bit of a cliché, but in this case it's absolutely true! I kept telling myself I'd read "just one more chapter before bedtime", but I was fooling myself as I ended up reading the whole book in one go, and it was worth the loss of sleep!
If you've never read Rona Halsall before, give it a go. Please be assured you're in for a treat and I'm sure you'll become a fan and want to seek out her other books.
I found it bland and lacking in any light and shade. The plot was ridiculous, the characters totally unbelievable and the writing flat and overdone in length. Could have been summarised in one chapter. Didn’t enjoy, couldn’t recommend.