Please check out the other stops on the tour.
Today is my stop on the blog tour for debut novel "Beneath The Skin" by Caroline England. The PR post from Avon books was bloody fabulous. They sent rose petals, a wee compact mirror with a smudge of lipstick and a birth certificate extract.
As you can see Princess Trixie loved having a nosey and pose.
Here is my review for Beneath The Skin!
Beneath the Skin by Caroline England
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Pages - 362
Publisher - Avon
Blurb from Goodreads
No-one remembers your past. But you do.
‘Antonia, Antonia. My name is Antonia.’
It’s been her name for many years. But sometimes, like tonight, she forgets.
Antonia has a secret. A secret so dark and so deep that she can barely admit it to herself. Instead, she treats herself to Friday night sessions of self-harm while her husband David is at the pub, and her best friend Sophie is drinking too much wine a few doors down.
Nobody close to her knows the truth about what the teenage Antonia saw all those years ago. No-one, that is, except her mother. But Candy is in a care home now, her mind too addled to remember the truth. Antonia is safe. Isn’t she?
The lies start small. They always do. But when the tightly woven story you’ve told yourself begins to unravel, the truth threatens to come to the surface. And then what’s going to happen?
This was a very different read from what I was expecting, especially with the blurb and PR material I was expecting a psychological thriller type read. In fact it is about secrets, mental health, friendships, lies, family and the facade we put on compared to the reality of our (the individuals in the story) lives.
The book centers around the lives of our main characters, mostly split into four couples who are "friends" of different degrees. Dysfunctional relationships, friendships, work colleagues and acquaintances. Family life is a huge center of the story, especially with the hinting of Antonia and her past, she self harms and doesn't like to think about the past. She worries about her mother, who is in a care home, letting something slip. The book centers around Antonia's relationships, her coping mechanisms and her bizarre friendship with Sophie not to mention morals and how we can never truly outrun our past.
It peels the societal scab and exposes some of the most selfish and nasty side of people, how we interact with people in our inner circles, keeping secrets that bind friendship whilst never exposing some of their own personal demons. This is Antonia's story, with her husband David, her oldest friend Sophie and their inner social circle. A dark tale with raw humanity, it is a slow burner to start with as we get introduced to all the characters, building up in tension and at the last quarter pulling the rug from under your feet. I genuinely get put off books that give a different blurb to the actual story and as a slow burner it took me a bit to settle into. However by half way through I was invested in the characters and really wanted to see where it was going. The latter chapters really brought it together and shocked me as I hadn't anticipated where it was going. I went back and forth on my rating for this one, 3.5 changed to 4 stars as I thought it dealt with so many issues and themes and overall really liked it. I will keep an eye out for this authors future offerings and as always my thanks to the publisher for introducing me to a new author!