There is nothing I enjoy more than a book about secrets, especially those that are meant to stay a secret. Jen had grown up in a claustrophobic relationship with just her mother, so when she met Jason, his parents and his two sisters she falls in love with this lively family, perhaps as much as she did him.
Years later soon after the second of their two daughters, Emily leaves home for university Jen sees something across a street that she wishes she hadn’t. Jen has no-one to share what she has seen, her social life revolves round the Masterson family and she can’t reveal anything to any of them! Soon Jen withdraws from the family as the strain keeping the secret becomes overwhelming. The strain begins to pull at the seams of her marriage as she determines that the secret must stay under wraps, after all there is a family getaway and she must put a smile on her face and not give anything away…
Jane Fallon has got back to using clever observations to lift her writing and this time has chosen a subject we can all relate to. In fact there are a few secrets that are bubbling beneath the surface in this book which is ultimately about relationships. It is also about a couple coming to terms with their new role in life now that they are no longer in daily demand from their daughters, the bargains that are made within relationships, often unstated, that outsiders have no idea exists.
I enjoyed this book, I sympathised with Jen and although I wouldn’t have made the choices she did, I could understand why she made them. That is important to me because if I do need to believe characters in the books I read aren’t making randomly stupid decisions. Jason was a bit more of a shadowy figure until later in the book, a more or less identikit perfect husband and father who adores everyone, his wife, his sisters, parents and daughters with a laid-back geniality but in time we get to see a glimpse of what goes on beneath the surface.
Best of all I totally agreed with the ending, there were surprises along the way culminating in decisions being made that to my mind couldn’t have been different. Jane Fallon has won me back as a fan with this enjoyable novel.
I received a free copy of this book in return for my review from the publishers Penguin Books. Skeletons will be published today, 27 March 2014 so you can buy it now!
Previous books by Jane Fallon
Getting Rid of Matthew
Got You Back