Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Skeletons - Jane Fallon

About the book…
Jen has discovered a secret. It's not hers to share, but is it hers to keep?

If she tells her husband Jason, he might get over the shock but will he forgive her for telling the truth? She might drive a wedge through their marriage.

If she tells someone else in Jason's family - the family she's come to love more than her own - she'd not only tear them apart but could also find herself on the outside: she's never really been one of them, after all.

But if she keeps this dirty little secret to herself, how long can she pretend nothing is wrong? How long can she live a lie?

Jen knows the truth - but is she ready for the consequences? 

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About the author… 
Jane was born in Harrow in North London and later moved out to Buckinghamshire where she attended St Bernard's Convent School in Slough before moving back up to London to read history at University College.

Her first real job was working as a 'Girl Friday' in a small Theatrical and Literary Agency - (the same job that Rebecca has in 'Foursome'). As soon as she walked through the door she fell in love with the idea of working in drama in some capacity.

After three years she left to pursue a career in TV, starting as a freelance script reader and then working as a script editor on various shows including EastEnders where she was made a producer in 1994. The following year she started work producing a new low budget show for BBC2 - 'This Life'.

Several other shows including 'Teachers' and '20 Things To Do Before You're 30' followed before she suddenly got brave enough to have a go at trying to fulfil her life long ambition to write a novel in 2006.

Skeletons is her fifth novel.

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My thoughts…
I recently won a signed copy of Getting Rid of Matthew in a competition on twitter. What nostalgia, it brought back happy memories.  I just love all of Jane Fallon's books — she has the fantastic ability to bring to life, ‘real life!'  It’s a little like voyeurism looking into the lives of people who could, very easily be my own family or friends.

When I heard she was bringing out her fifth book Skeletons in March of this year I literally couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  I was on the list for a proof copy to review from Penguin but saw it up on Netgalley and couldn’t wait.  Although, if Penguin still wanted to send me a paper copy I’d just love them forever.

Jen, the main character in this novel is ‘living the life’. Family, or rather her husbands extended family provides everything she needs in life — his parents are closer to her than her own, his sisters her best-friends. Everything is perfect. Which is why, when she discovers a secret that could potentially rock that life she decides to do something about it.

Jane Fallon takes us on an emotional journey as Jen battles to make the right decisions.  Trying to protect the family and in doing so discovers things about her own family she didn’t know.  Every turn of the page was with anticipation.  It really was a roller-coaster of a book.  Climbing to the summit only to plunge again, then to rise again with each chapter. Jane developed such good characters, whose lives and emotions were so vivid that I felt real empathy and emotion for them.  I liked and disliked the right people, although, as was Jane’s intention my opinions of them changed throughout the novel too. I often found myself silently berating, praying, wishing and hoping for different outcomes as the book developed.

The best type of books in my opinion are books that make me think. This book had me thinking long after the final page. Is it better to turn a blind-eye to keep the status quo or should you  unlock a can of worms and hope for the best.  Jen, like many people I know in real life did what she did for the good of other people, never once thinking about the consequences of her actions only those of the people around her.  Who suffered the most do you think? People only see what we want them to see and do we ever know the whole story?

Another brilliant book, that wasn’t just a ‘nice’ read — it wasn’t predictable although at times I found myself predicting what was coming next, more often than not wrongly!  It’s funny how you can see things without seeing, perhaps we should all take a step back and evaluate our own lives — or perhaps not, I for one am happy in my bubble. I cannot wait to get a paper version of this book, to hear what other people thought and to re-read it again to see if I still feel the same about each of the characters.

I highly recommend this book, Thank you Jane Fallon, don’t leave it so long until your next novel!!

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