11 Jul Deception by Lesley Pearse
A journey into the past uncovers shocking secrets about a mother’s life
I’m so happy to be on the blogtour for Lesley’s Pearse’s thirtieth novel! She’s popular the world over as I discovered on my recent Cyprus holiday, when I was reading my advance copy and approached by several people wanting to borrow it!
It’s definitely a book worth sharing and will, I think, delight her old fans and bring her new ones who are perhaps picking up her novel for the first time.
So what’s it all about?
Imagine finding out in your thirties that your dearly-loved father is not your biological father? And that your mother has lied, not just about that, but about every other aspect of her past?
When Alice Kent is approached by stranger Angus Tweedy at her mother Sally’s funeral, she is shocked to learn that he is the biological father of her and sister, Emily.
He claims he had a bigamous marriage with her mother, spending time in jail for his crime, while her mother went on to marry Ralph Kent, who adopted the two girls and brought them up as his own.
All he wants now is a relationship with them.
But his revelation leaves Alice wanting to know more about her mother. She’d always known she wasn’t a saint – but could she have been such a sinner?
Armed only with Angus’s revelations and some help from her old friend, retired policeman Stuart McIntosh, Alice sets out on a journey of discovery that reveals some shocking, and sometimes scandalous truths about her mother’s life.
But in tandem, the narrative takes us back to Sally’s roots, telling the story from her own point of view. As little Janet, she escaped from an abusive childhood, reinventing herself as Fleur, then Helen, then Sally, always chasing her dreams despite numerous setbacks and repeated trauma that would see a lesser person caving in.
It’s a story of triumph over tragedy with Sally firmly at its centre. Lesley Pearse’s story-writing skill lies in the strength of her characters, and Sally is one of the strongest I’ve met. Your heart will break for a little girl unwanted by her father and unloved by her mother, set adrift at 16 to make her own way in the world, exploited by more powerful people and led down paths she doesn’t particularly want to go.
But somehow she always retains her dignity, her passion and her courage.
In a fast-paced narrative taking you through Sally’s life, there are scenes of cruelty that will break your heart, but also many kindnesses as people like compassionate social worker Miss Cooling, kindly landlady Frankie, and theatre owner Barney Marsh reach out to help a troubled girl.
For Sally is deeply loveable despite her flaws and transgressions.
But will Alice forgive her mother’s lies and deception when she finally knows the truth? Delving into her mother’s past can’t help but have an effect on her own life.
Deception may be the title of this story, but there are plenty other themes threading through the narrative. Themes of survival, adaptability, human frailty, and the importance of dreams.
This is another moving and ultimately uplifting read from this well-loved author.
Deception by Lesley Pearse is published by Michael Joseph in hardback and ebook
About the Author
Lesley Pearse is an internationally best-selling author – Deception is her thirtieth book! She lives in Torquay, Devon.
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