After seven years of silence a letter arrives for Rosie Rankin from the woman she once counted as her closest friend. Lisa is writing to reveal she has been diagnosed with cancer and wants to see Rosie one last time to share a secret she doesn't want to carry to her grave.
Told through the yes of four members of the same family, The Betrayals takes an unflinching look at contemporary family life.
When Rosie's best friend has an affair with her husband the repercussions reverberate through the years. The arrival of a letter from the woman who betrayed her threatens to open up all the old wounds. Her daughter, Daisy's, fragile hold on reality begins to unravel and her teenage son, Max, blames himself for everything that happened. Her brittle ex-husband, Nick, has his own version of events.
As long repressed memories bubble to the surface, the past has never seemed more present and the truth more murky.
Sometimes there are four sides to every story.
Who do you believe?
The moving story of a family destroyed by a secret that has travelled down through the years, The Betrayals, explores the nature of memory and desire and asks whether some things can ever be forgiven.
The Betrayals is the first book by Fiona Neill which I have read. Fiona explores a family’s troubled relationship in this book and it makes for a gripping read. If you’re a fan of family dramas you definitely need to give this book a go.
What I found really interesting about this book was learning about the different perspectives that the character’s had of one another and how their memories of past events differ. Fiona tells the story from the view point of four characters: Daisy, Max, Nick and Rosie. Daisy is shocked in the beginning of the novel when she picks up a letter that is from her parent’s old friend, Lisa, who her Dad left her mother for. Why does Lisa want to get in touch now and why does she want to rake up the past that Daisy would much rather leave behind?
Fiona did a brilliant job with her characters in The Betrayals. Every one of them had their own unique voice and I enjoyed getting to know them all, they are all very different to each other and it was interesting to delve into the family dynamics. What I also found interesting was how their memories of past events differed from each other and this is something we can all relate to and it shows how the mind can choose what to remember and what to block out. This is the case when the story flicks from past to present before the two families, Lisa’s and Nick’s split.
For me, the character’s whose voice was the main pull of the story was Daisy. Daisy is a sufferer from OCD. A few years ago she became very ill and had to see a counsellor, now she fears that she is having a relapse, especially after reading the letter written by Lisa who she believes is the trigger for her illness. I thought that Fiona wrote about the subject of OCD really well. I think we all have those moments where we have to do things a certain way or we can’t sleep at night unless something is checked and checked again. It was really intriguing to see how OCD can develop into a severe illness. I thought it was very believable how Daisy’s OCD affected the rest of her family, particularly her brother Max. This was one of the gripping aspects of the novel which added a lot of tension as Max struggled in places to come to terms with his sister’s illness.
Whilst I was reading I wasn’t sure at all how this novel was going to play out. But I did not see the ending that Fiona had in store for us coming which was really chilling. The only criticism I would have is that I was expecting there to be a more climatic ending between the two families but overall I thought the ending was really well done.
Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and I am sure that I will be picking up another book by Fiona Neill in the future . Thank you to Ellie Hughes at Penguin for sending me a copy to read. The Betrayals is out now!
Publication date: 10th August 2017
Print length: 416 pages