From the outside, anyone would think that Lucy Palmer has it all: loving children, a dashing husband and a gorgeous home.
But when her marriage to Michael comes to a sudden and unexpected end, her life is turned upside down in an instant.
As the truth of her marriage threatens to surface, Lucy seizes the opportunity to swap her house in London – and the stories it hides – for a rural escape to her parents farmhouse in the Chilterns.
But Lucy gets more than she bargained for when she moves back to her childhood home. With her parents growing older disgracefully, she can hardly keep up with their social life – especially when it throws her into the path of an old flame.
Coming face-to-face with her mistakes, Lucy is forced to confront the secrets she’s been keeping from herself and those she loves.
Is she ready to let someone in? Or will she leave the door to her past firmly closed…
Thank you so much to Srija at Michael Joseph Books for inviting me to be involved in this blog tour celebrating the publication of Behind Closed Doors. I don’t think I had previously read anything by Catherine Alliott, but I am a fan of contemporary fiction so I was delighted to be involved with this.
As I was reading this book I was struck by how eloquently the story was written, in the first person voice of Lucy. I liked Lucy, she seemed a calm, together and attractive woman but she held some secrets that are gradually revealed throughout the book. Her marriage ends abruptly and she swiftly takes the decision to temporarily move in with her parents, this solution is two fold, Lucy needs a break and her aging parents are not managing as well as one would hope… This was an entertaining aspect of the story, in their later years Lucy’s parents were certainly having fun in their rural farm, with some lifelong similarly aged friends they were known to hit the gin hard and early and not always know when to stop! There was a very evident role reversal as Lucy took on this caring role wth her having to reprimand her parents and on occasion reign them in as they continued to age disgracefully.
The story was about families, Lucy and her changing role in relation to her marriage, her new role in relation to her parents and also the support she gleaned from her sister and her adult children. For Lucy the demise of her relationship was a blessing, their perfect looking marriage was not all it seemed and themes of domestic abuse and coercive control were explored here.
Behind Closed Doors was an engaging read which I enjoyed, it was a story of recovery and positive relationships, accepting the past and hope for the future, moving on. Caring and acceptance were key in Lucy’s relationship with her parents, their need for independence versus Lucy and her sister’s need for them to be safe. Her proximity to them was significant and it was pleasing to see the positive effects of this supportive relationship on them all.
This book was another uplifting read, which seems very welcome to me right now. It tackled some very significant issues but in a way that felt light and accessible which I particularly liked. Definitely a recommendation from me for any fans of contemporary fiction.
Have you read any books by Catherine Alliot? Any recommendations for me?
About the Author
Catherine Alliott is the author of fifteen bestselling novels including About Last Night, My Husband Next Door, A Rural Affair, One Day in May, The Secret Life of Evie Hamilton and Wish You Were Here. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire.
This was a blogtour so please do take a look at what these other awesome bloggers are saying about this book.