The Worst Of Lies

Written by Sandra-Jane Goddard
Review by Tina Huckle

This historical novel opens in 1829 and is the first in the series ‘The Strong’s (family) of Summerleas Farm’.  When seventeen year-old Mary Springer marries George Strong and arrives at Summerleas Farm, she doesn’t know that he is still obsessed with his erstwhile lover, Annie, the woman now married to his brother. Nor does she know that resentful of George’s marriage and unhappy in her own, Annie is scheming to rekindle her relationship with him.

Isolated and lonely in her new surroundings, Mary struggles to cope with her husband’s evermore distant behaviour, while for his part, George laments choosing such a young and innocent wife. So when Annie is widowed by the unexplained death of her brutal husband and a young farm-hand offers Mary the chance to discover what is missing from her life, will their marriage survive?

From the very beginning the scene is set well for the remainder of the book and is well written engaging the reader immediately with its colourful characters throughout this enjoyable read.

Whilst the pages are full of grit, heartache and love which one often finds in these types of novels, the reader is pleasantly surprised with the depth of character building and emotion set within its story. There are parts of this novel that will no doubt remind many of similar feelings they have experienced themselves and in doing so subtly bonds you to the characters. George Strong is one of those characters that you hate but also love and all at the same time. This can be a difficult thing to master when writing and credit to the author in doing so.

Great twists and turns with intrigue to keep you thinking. Sandra-Jane Goddard has written a good read in the Worst of Lies, the only thing that is slightly off-putting is the size of the book and the cover, I feel, does not do the novel justice.