Blog tour: 8 to 12 November 2019
Claire is beautiful.
Claire is famous.
Claire has a handsome husband and a house to die for.
But Claire doesn’t know any of that. Claire isn’t even sure who she is …
When Claire Wright wakes in hospital, she sees a stranger staring back at her in the mirror. With no memories from before the devastating car accident that left her and her father with life-changing injuries, she must navigate the life of a stranger along with all the mistakes her former self left behind.
As Claire discovers the person she used to be she must also unravel the mystery that surrounds the accident. But the more Claire uncovers, the more she will be forced to face up to the dark secrets from her life before …
Her Perfect Lies tells the story of Claire, a famous professional ballerina, who is leaving hospital and going home two weeks after she was involved in a car accident with her father, Tony. She has lost her memory and remembers nothing of the crash, which caused Tony serious injuries (his spine was severely damaged) and he’s rather confused about exactly what happened too, denying Claire was in the car at first.
When Claire looks in the mirror, she sees a stranger. She remembers nothing about anything. Things even taste different and there are hints that her personality changes. Such a frightening position to be in! I’d be terrified.
Claire’s husband, Paul, a doctor, seems rather controlling: he wants to watch her take medication, won’t eat with her, won’t let her go to her ballet studio and invites their friends over for a dinner party without even asking her. And he’s not very affectionate or caring – he only visits her twice in the two weeks she’s in hospital and they don’t even share a bedroom at home.
Claire’s mother, Angela, is absent, supposedly away looking after an elderly relative, Aunt Judy, but it seems rather bizarre that she hasn’t rushed back, with both her daughter and husband in a serious condition in hospital!
Everything is so unsettling for Claire; she’s disconnected from her past, present and future but trapped in the house as being outside is so frightening and overwhelming. She feels fragile and out of control as her mind struggles to make sense of everything and she begins to suffer from bad nightmares that never have a resolution – someone close is threatening and chasing her; an ominous presence but one which disappears before she can see the person’s face. Claire struggles to get any memories back and ends up going to a hypnotherapist, Dr Matilda Brown, to try and free her locked-up mind.
As she starts to discover more about her past and uncovers traumatic events, Claire feels even more lost and alone. She is being accused of awful things but can’t even defend herself as she doesn’t know what has happened.
This was a tense, uneasy read and I could really feel Claire’s fear. She didn’t know who she was, she’s learning about everything for the first time and she doesn’t know or trust her husband, Paul, her father, Tony, her best friend, Gaby, or even the housekeeper, Nina. Everyone seems to have ulterior motives and be hiding secrets and not telling Claire the truth about her life, whether to protect her or themselves is unclear. The only one she can trust is their labrador, Molokai!
Claire is such an unreliable narrator, understandably, that I really didn’t know which direction this one was going to go in. There were a few twists and turns, as well as red herrings, and my guesses of how it was all going to be resolved were a bit wide of the mark!
Overall, I enjoyed this one, it was such a intense and claustrophobic read and I finished it after a couple of days. I think I need something a bit lighter now to recover!
Buy the book
About the author
Lana Newton grew up in two opposite corners of the Soviet Union: the snow-white Siberian town of Tomsk and the golden-domed Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. At the age of 16, she moved to Australia with her mother. Lana and her family live on the Central Coast of New South Wales, where it never snows and is always summer warm.
Lana studied IT at university and, as a student, wrote poetry in Russian that she hid from everyone. For over a decade after graduating, she worked as a computer programmer. When she returned to university to complete her history degree, her favourite lecturer encouraged her to write fiction. She hasn’t looked back, and never goes anywhere without her favourite pen because you never know when the inspiration might strike.
Lana’s short stories appeared in many magazines and anthologies, and she was the winner of the Historical Novel Society Autumn 2012 Short Fiction competition. Her novels are published by HQ Digital, an imprint of Harper Collins UK.
Lana also writes historical fiction under the pen name of Lana Kortchik.
Thanks to Jessica Lee at HQ Stories for my digital copy of Her Perfect Lies and for my place on the blog tour.
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