Well-written, evocative and scandalous, this novel made me experience a roller-coaster of emotions. It was never boring but did leave me frustrated more times than I can count.
Book Title: Everlasting Lies by Barbara Warren
Category: Adult fiction, 296 pages
Genre: Historical Romance, Women's Fiction
Publisher: Friesen Press
Release date: March 2016
Content Rating: R (For explicit sexual scenes and promiscuity)
Edina Paxton is kissed at twelve, seduced at fourteen and married with child at fifteen. She immediately regrets her marriage to Charles Vernon and is relieved when he leaves to fight in the trenches during WW1. She soon finds love, comfort and sexual satisfaction with Bill, another soldier and the boy who first kissed her.
Charles is invalided out of the army and is sent to India on a hospital ship. There, he becomes a manager of a coalmine in Britain’s Indian Empire, with all the privileges that his position rewards, including sexual favours from female employees. At the end of his army service in 1920 he returns to England to collect his family and return to India, only to be greeted with the news that while he was away Edina was at play. She is pregnant.
Reluctantly, Edina and her three children sail for India with Charles and Edina gives birth to her fourth child while sailing south on the Red Sea. On reaching India Charles finds his Indian mistress is pregnant and Edina finds Charles’s Indian boss to be very attractive. It’s a mutual attraction. Neither Edina nor Charles is a saint.
Piecing together fragments of her grandmother’s remarkable and tragic story, Everlasting Lies is Barbara’s loving tale of the early life of Edina, her grandmother, and Charles, Edina's husband. They both experience the horrors of WW1 and, in hopes of renewing their marriage, start new lives as members of the upper class in Imperial India.
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This novel, aptly titled Everlasting Lies, is the story of a couple's turbulent marriage from the time they first meet to the years through WWI and their move from England to India.
The story grips the reader from the get-go as we are transported to an early twentieth century mining town in England. Charlie is a complex character who becomes more and more despicable as he discovers his need to satisfy his sexual urges at all costs. His wife Edina turns from an innocent tease to a housewife verbally abused by her promiscuous husband. The war takes Charlie away as he enlists and Edina enjoys taking care of her children, falling in love with a childhood friend and learning about women who are beginning to speak up for their rights.
Despite the fact that I did not like Charles and at times Edina, the author's writing kept me turning the pages. I would have preferred if the plot would have continued to revolve around the era rather than the sexual exploits of this couple. There is very little integrity, if any, among the main characters and, Edina who I had high hopes for becomes no better than her husband in her own infidelities. She is a strong character, however, and does what she believes she must do to survive during an era and a marriage where her station in life as a mother and a woman is not respected.
Well-written, evocative and scandalous, this novel made me experience a roller-coaster of emotions. It was never boring but did leave me frustrated more times than I can count. I was hoping for some morality among one of its main characters to give them depth and a reason for me as a reader to root for them. The author is a good storyteller, however, and I hope she keeps writing historical fiction.
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Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not told how to rate or review this product.
Then she pursued her passion for the arts and for travel. She and her husband rode camels in India, elephants in Nepal and horses in Montana. They hitchhiked in Norway, cycled across Denmark and snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef. Barbara’s paintings grace homes in Canada, USA and Mexico and she designs her own clothes. She spends the winters in Mexico and the summers in the bible belt of southern Alberta.
Her first novel, Everlasting Lies, tells the story of her grandparents’ love affairs with each other and with others. They struggle to survive in the last years of Victorian England and the horrors of WW1 and then start a new life with four children in Imperial India.
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