A Good Liar - a historical novel by Ruth Sutton

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'Jessie Whelan had been lying to her mother all her life.' The opening sentence heralds a story about family secrets and the corrosiveness of lies. Jessie is a feminist before feminism, a strong woman battling for her independence in a world where she could lose her job and her home if the secrets of her past were ever revealed.

She knows the risk of a love affair with a younger man, but follows her instinct, realizing too late that the line between passion and violence is very slender.

You may love Jessie, or hate her, or accept and understand her flaws as the inevitable consequence of her life and times. Jessie's world is rural northern England in the 1930s, before adoption, contraception and penicillin, where paraffin lamps lit the houses and horses pulled the ploughs. Women were expected to be dutiful, and disaster could visit those who strayed.

A Good Liar is Part 1 of a trilogy Between the Mountains and the Sea. Part 2 Forgiven will be published as an ebook in June 2013, and picks up Jessie's story ten years later in the gloom of post-war Cumberland. Try to read A Good Liar before then, to get the full picture of Jessie's troubled relationship with her son and her continuing struggle for personal survival.