About the Book
The Betrayals by Fiona Neil is the latest fiction book I have enjoyed reading. Focusing on a ten year period, it describes how two interwoven families are pulled apart by deceit and betrayal.
Lisa and Rosie have been friends since they were teenagers. They had their children at the same times and enjoyed long lazy days at the beach breastfeeding. Their families have spent every summer holiday together since and their children have grown up together. Fast forward 10 years and Lisa falls in love with Rosie’s husband Nick. The families have been ripped apart as Nick and Lisa set up home together and as with most family breakdowns, it is the children who are left suffering the most.
Rosie’s teenage daughter Daisy descends into the depths of severe obsessive-compulsive disorder and the book describes not only the effect the disorder has on Daisy’s day to day life but also the trauma her immediate family go through, trying to support her through the illness. As the book progresses you understand that Lisa is terminally ill. This discovery brings Rosie’s personal feelings about the woman who stole her husband crashing into her professional role as an oncologist. Will she try and help her oldest friend?
The men in the story stand in the periphery. The husband’s stories are told with a dash of self-absorbed unhappiness. Rosie’s son Max is constantly trying to reassure his sister that her compulsions are unfounded and he seeks comfort from an emotionally unavailable older girlfriend Connie. Ultimately the men in the story are overshadowed by the strong female leads. The novel explores how women can survive a devastating family crisis, continue to lead the way at work, do everything they can to help their children and face the final chapter with dignity and grace.
Overall Enjoyment of the book
The book starts with one big betrayal and they keep coming throughout the story. It explores the basic human need for forgiveness and acceptance. It also cleverly considers the unreliability of human memory.
It was an enjoyable read and kept me interested from the first page. I liked the way that despite the downturns in their lives the characters didn’t wallow in self-pity. Instead, they found a way to cope and continued with their lives as people across the globe do every day after facing personal adversity.
Have you read ‘The Betrayals’? Let me know what you thought of the book.