Publication Date: Available Now from Orenda
Source: Review Copy.
Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match, and she loves his son like he is her own. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. Desperate for that happy-ever-after, he ignores it—a dangerous mistake that could cost him everything.
A Suitable Lie – apt title for a novel that speaks to the horror and realities of domestic abuse, the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we tell other people – in this novel Michael Malone puts the rare twist of fate into his narrative showing it from the opposite angle to that which is much talked about.
There are many books that show the sheer psychological affects of violence against women in domestic situations, but when that is flipped on its head and it is the man who endures, the sad truth is it is not much talked about. Like it couldnt happen. Like the male will always have dominance over the female in strength both mental and physical and will always be able to walk away. We question it far more in that scenario, make assumptions, say well look he can just fight it off, defend himself, its ridiculous to think that he couldnt. Right?
Michael Malone with his Tour de Force of a novel throws you into a marital war zone and quietly but steadily breaks down your defences, shows you a harsh reality, breaks your heart. Andy thinks he has found happiness but his new wife Anna is damaged, badly, her bubbly outer image hides a dark and twisted internal reality that comes out in violent and unimaginable ways. Manipulative, controlling, hiding behind a facade, Anna will indeed change Andy’s life forever.
It is a tough read. You do want to shout. As Andy is broken down, steadily losing a grip on himself, becoming more isolated and distraught this is hard hitting and emotionally traumatic. Even more so because there is a child involved, there were times when I cried for him. For all of them actually, yes even Anna.
I wanted to put it down. Then I had to pick it up again. The writing is intense, clever, thought provoking, indelible. A Suitable Lie is a harsh yet compelling reality check, a story that will grip you, throw you under a bus, pick you up again then chuck you off a cliff. A slow burner with a dark soul, this is a Grimm fairytale there is no Disney here. But it speaks truth. No matter how much you wish it didnt.
Happily Ever After. Nope not so much.
A truly incredible novel. I doubt I’ll ever forget it. Mr Malone needs to be writing more like this. I like the books that break me.
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