Friday, February 20, 2015

Monday's Lie by Jamie Mason

Release Date: February 3, 2015
Publisher: Gallery Books
Author Website: 

Rating: 3 out 5 stars.

When your childhood was far from ordinary, the one thing you'd want in your life is normal, unremarkable normal. Dee Aldrich knew her mother was something other than the cookie-cutter version of a suburban mom. All the games she and her brother, Simon, played as children taught them much more than their alphabet and numbers. After an unexpected event in her teen years, Dee wanted no more of the surprises and did the most normal thing she could think of at the time. She got married and played house with her college sweetheart, Patrick.

But as the years went by, some things began adding up in all the wrong columns. When the illusion of normal, boring marriage came crashing down around her, Dee used each of the tools she'd been taught to discover her husband's dark secrets. If he was simply having an affair, she'd be overjoyed, but something nagged at her. Can she uncover the truth before it's too late?

Offered at NetGalley, I requested the title because the description intrigued me by how much of an opposite it was to the usual way life went. The fact that Dee, the main character of the book, wanted nothing more than the "normal" life after all she went through in her childhood seemed different, unusual and exciting. The lengths she went to in order keep everything to her degree of normal was more than expected. Honestly, I thought it bordered on crazy when I first began reading the book, but as the story continued, I began to understand why she wanted the Ozzie and Harriett style of marriage.

The book was written in first person point-of-view through Dee's eyes. Privy to her reasons and thoughts, it became easier to understand her decisions that looked out of place or strange to others. Other major players in the book included her mother, Annette; her brother, Simon; her husband, Patrick; and her mother's unusual co-worker, Paul Rowland. There are a few others that play important roles in the action toward the end of the book, but revealing them at this point would spoil the story. Each of them were well fleshed out and interacted well with one another. In the beginning of the book, it was a bit difficult to figure out how Dee kept much of her emotional reactions under such tight control. Once that was explained, the rest of the pieces fell into place. By the end of the book, I was wanting to know more about Dee, Annette and even her smarmy handler, Paul.

At the beginning of the book, Dee recounted an event in her childhood that left her and her brother traumatized for many years later. It was a little difficult to get into the groove of reading the book after that because traveled up and down a chronological timeline little warning. Lots of flashbacks to her childhood and the night their lives changed added weight to their decisions as well as substance to their characters. The only drawback was that the transition between the past and the present was always seamless. Although bumpy at times, the transitions weren't always so distracting. By the middle of the book, the story had its teeth into me and I had to read until the end to see whether I was right or wrong in what I thought of Paul, Patrick and Dee.

Overall, this book was pretty entertaining. Definitely not your average, marriage in midlife crisis type of story by any stretch, the work Dee's mother did flavored the story from the beginning. I had a little trouble believing some of Patrick's reactions until the final few chapters of the book. The very last chapter of the book had me intrigued for whatever may come next for the likes of Dee and her brother, Simon. Lots of unanswered questions were poised in those few pages. The door was definitely left open for another look at the Vess family. If you're looking for book that's different with a cloak-and-dagger bent, then this is the book to be on your list!

Monday's Lie by Jamie Mason is currently available in hardcover, Kindle and audio-book formats. It can be purchased from various online retailers as well as local bookstores. The following link will bring up the book's page at Amazon.
Monday's Lie by Jamie Mason

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