Lies: we all tell them. To protect those we love, to disguise failure, to hide disappointment. To mask betrayal or deceit. But what happens when they start to catch up with us? When our lives begin to be shaped by the lies of others?I very much enjoyed Jessica Ruston's book To Touch the Stars but I must admit that I enjoyed The Darker Side of Love even more and was sad to get the the last page.
The late 'noughties'. A global recession looms. A group of old friends, all leading outwardly successful, interesting lives. All in apparently loving, secure relationships. Yet all, in some way, lying to those closest to them, concealing secret worries, jealousies or desires. This group of friends is about to discover that the truth won't stay buried forever.
Welcome to the darker side of love.
There are four main female characters. Izzy who is married to James, they have two beautiful children but she is in definite need of something more. Stella and Johnny have a baby together but Johnny's band is about to hit the big time and his life-style is leading Stella to self-destruct. Caroline is newly married to Bart and should be enjoying the honeymoon period but things aren't always as perfect as they appear. Harriet is the final character, she has been with Will for what seems like forever but she still doesn't have a ring on her finger; maybe it's time to issue him with an ultimatum.
They are four very different women and it was really interesting to see how they slotted together. I think that I identified the most with Izzy but I was as equally interested in all of the others. As the title suggests, Jessica Ruston is exploring the darker side of love. This book is beautifully dark, full of lies, betrayal, sex and jealousy but I also felt that it was brilliantly honest. It didn't paint pretty pictures but stripped these women's relationships back and showed how they really are rather than how they look from the outside.
I really struggled to put this book down and it is one of the best that I have read so far in 2012. I think this is the most powerful of Jessica Ruston's books so far and I highly recommend it.
Dot Scribbles Rating 5/5
Many thanks to Headline Review for sending me a copy of the book to review, The Darker Side of Love is out now.