Home Truths. Finished 2-6-19, 3.5/5 stars, fiction, 480 pages, pub. 2020
Angie Watts once had what seemed like an idyllic life: a house in a small town in the English countryside with her beloved husband Steve and their three adored children. She never could have predicted how her life would one day turn out.
When her oldest son, Liam, grows from a sweet-natured boy to a troubled teen, Angie’s world begins to crumble. Expelled from school and disappearing from home for days on end, Liam falls in with a notorious local gang. After arriving home one day to find their 5-year-old son with a syringe Liam has left lying around, Steve makes a rash decision that will have lasting repercussions on their family.
Two years later, Steve is gone, Liam is missing, and with money running out, Angie and her other two children are on the brink of eviction. Then Angie is called into the police station and informed that there’s been a murder—and Liam is a suspect. As Angie’s desperation to save her family leads her to take drastic measures, her daughter secretly devises her own plan to save the family…which could put everyone in danger. from Goodreads
I have never read a book with such dramatic lows and dizzying highs. For over half of the book Angie is faced with a multitude of of woes straight from the evening news. Brutal murder, human trafficking, extreme poverty, homelessness, child disappearance, drugs, and gangs. Through it all she has the love and unwavering support from her sister and even manages to keep her job. Her pride stops her from seeking out the help she needs and she spirals down until all that is left is her walking down the main drag begging shops for a job while she sleeps in her van at night.
Amazingly, she walked by a man who had known her husband and justlikethat he became a knight in shining armor the likes of which I rarely read about outside of romance novels. Now every low was countered by a high that gave me whiplash. I know this may seem like I didn’t like the book, but that’s not true. I liked this book and the large cast of characters and their plights. Angie’s story showcases how fast one’s life can spin out of control. My biggest issue was that the last fourth of the book was every aspect of her life, unbelievably, turned around tenfold thanks to a man. Angie was rescued. I was happy for her and her family, I even shed a tear near the end, but the triumph was a turnaround of her situation, not because of her fortitude.
So, for all the issues that I had with the rescuing, I did like Angie and her family and friends. The reality of Angie not eating all day just so her kids can have food and the hopelessness of a parent when their child falls prey to the perils of social media were gripping and emotional. Thankfully, there were happier endings almost all the way around. I never tired of the story and at 480 pages that’s quite a feat. This is my first book by Susan Lewis and she drew me in with sympathetic characters and a compelling story.