15 Jul Betrayal by Lesley Pearse
Can Eve ever put the past behind her?
You can’t not race through a Lesley Pearse book! The author of over thirty best-selling books is a born story-teller.
With her reputation for gritty, gripping stories that never shy away from the seamier side of life, I was expecting distressing themes. And, yes, this story pulled no punches – literally – from the very start. Bt it certainly pulled me in, as it will her millions of fans around the world.
If you haven’t discovered her already, you’ll be glad that you have now.
Betrayal opens in London, in 1999, where 28-year-old Eve is living a miserable existence with her extremely violent husband Don, ten years older than her, who is now also taking his temper out on their children, Tabitha and Ollie.
After a particularly vicious beating, Eve finds the courage to report him to police and is offered sanctuary at a women’s refuge in far-off Sidmouth in Devon. There, she begins to gather her courage and returns to London to divorce Don and rebuild a life for herself and her children.
But he is not willing to leave her in peace. Events escalate into a tragedy that sees Eve fleeing to Sidmouth once more, this time for good.
There she gradually picks up her life, building a successful business, and even, she believes, finding love.
But happiness eludes her as she continues to be haunted by the past, and by the dreadful secret she cannot share with anyone, not even the man she loves.
But someone knows it – and someone wants to make her pay…
You’re rooting for Eve to succeed
This was a thrilling story right from the start, and though the themes are upsetting, they are offset by the strength of the characters. Once Eve finds her courage, you’re rooting for her to succeed in her escape from Don.
She makes mistakes, certainly, but in her position, they’re wholly understandable, and she is never less than a sympathetic character.
The bleakness of her life with Don and her subsequent struggles is lightened not only by her own determination to put the past behind her, but by the strength of the other characters in the book. Policemen, lawyers, friends, neighbours and workmen all prove that the world is essentially full of good people. Their willingness to help Eve, and forgive her when she falters, is testimony to their own hearts and to her own capacity to love and be loved.
The story is harrowing at times
Having rescued her children from their awful father, she fights fiercely for them at all times, always putting them first. Her struggles to keep them safe provide a secondary theme to the story, that is harrowing at times, leaving the reader feeling as bruised and battered as poor Eve.
But there is always hope in the story.
I liked so many things about it – the characters, the linear narrative, but most of all the message that we can overcome tragedy, and we can be forgiven for our mistakes and, most importantly, that we can learn to forgive ourselves, be kind to ourselves, and move on to a more hopeful future.
It’s a story of triumph over tragedy – and don’t we all need more of them.
Betrayal by Lesley Pearse is published by Michael Joseph in hardback and e-book format
About the Author
Lesley Pearse is a global No.1 bestseller with fans across the world and sales of over 10 million copies of her books to date. One of the nation’s best-loved storytellers (a Lesley Pearse book is sold every 4 minutes in the UK) Lesley is inspired by stories of courage and adversity, and is a master of the gripping storyline, always introducing her readers to characters that are impossible to forget. Although there is no set formula or easily defined genre for a Lesley Pearse novel, strong heroines and jeopardy are pervasive, and she always engages the reader completely.
2023 marks Lesley’s 30th Anniversary as a published author. Betrayal is her 31st novel.
Lesley now lives in Torquay, Devon where she loves to spend time walking on the beach with her grandchildren. A fantastic speaker and committed and passionate fundraiser for the NSPCC, Lesley is a much sought-after guest at literary lunches, library events and festivals up and down the country.
Many thanks to Courtney Jefferies of EDPR for inviting me along on this blogtour, and to Penguin for a copy of the book.
Catch up with the rest of the blogtour through the links on the poster
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