As we head into a new year there is an air of seriousness in the air as people judge their last year’s performance and aim to up their game in the upcoming one. And I find as much as I try to ignore the urging to better myself, I too get caught up in the wish to be a ‘better’ or perhaps ‘different’ person but having done this a few times before comfort myself that life will return to normal probably before the month is out. While I wait for normality to return I seek comfort and Jane Fallon is one of those authors who knows how to weave a good story, a story absolutely made for curling up by the much needed fire to immerse yourself in another person’s life.
Tell Me A Secret is about Holly, a woman in her forties, with a grown-up daughter, a best friend and a promotion! Ok the setting of the workplace might be as script editors on a TV soap but to all intents and purposes this is an office, not so different to the one that many of us sit in day in and day out and deliciously full of the open and hidden alliances that have been present in every one I’ve worked in.
For those of you who have read previous books by this author you will be prepared for a tale of deceit heaped upon deceit served up in a number of different dishes but all with a lightness that by the time the book comes to a close you are left with a feeling that you’ve been entertained rather than put through the wringer.
Holly is promoted and assumes that her workplace best friend Roz will be keen to celebrate her success, and she is, isn’t she? But someone in the office is out to make mischief and it isn’t long before Holly is wondering whether she will manage to hang onto her job. The thing about Jane Fallon’s writing is that you will laugh, you will gasp and you may well cry at the scenes portrayed and the conversations had but because they are sufficiently grounded in true life. Those short-hand conversations that many authors seem to struggle with are captured with a wicked sense of humour as Jane Fallon makes an acute life observation, there were times when I was sure she has taken a peek into those unspoken thoughts I have whenever the occasion calls for people watching.
The story is a cracker full of twists and turns to keep those pages turning and fortunately Holly has friends outside work, Dee who works for the NHS and has a whole host of medical related stories to entertain us whenever it all gets a bit serious. Dee also as a sounding board, often a wise one but with a wild side all in the name of searching for the truth but when they are proposed I’m sure I won’t be the only reader to sit back thinking ‘oh dear, time to hang onto your hats folks!’
So if you need cheering up with a bit of a feel-good story with a hefty dose of the realities of working life then you really can’t go too far wrong with Tell Me A Secret. I was hugely grateful to receive an arc of this book from the publishers Penguin ahead of publication on Thursday 10 January 2019.
If January is proving to be a bit on the serious side for you too, this could be the perfect antidote.