The Lies You Told Me – Jessica Ruston

The lies you told me

“‘I do not know what you have been told about your mother. But I know it cannot be the truth…’ Klara Mortimer never really knew her mother, Sadie, a former model, who left when she was just six years old. All she has is a handful of stories, passed down from the father who raised her. Klara tells herself she has long ago come to terms with her mother’s disappearance from her life, but then she receives a note and key from someone who calls themselves ‘N.R.’. These lead her to a garage, full of the remnants of her mother’s past, and to the diary she kept all those years ago. Within its pages, Klara discovers a woman who doesn’t quite match the portrait her father has painstakingly painted for her, and a story that leads her to question everything she thought she knew…”

Firstly I’d like to thank the publishers for sending me this book to read and give an honest review.  This is the first book I have read by Jessica Ruston and everything about the cover/blurb intrigued me, it raised so many questions that I couldn’t wait to find answers to.  Unfortunately the storyline didn’t grip me quite as much as I thought it would and it seemed to take me a while to really become involved with it.

Klara was a nice character who I felt incredibly sorry for, when she received the anonymous package that led to her mothers belongings there was a real sense of nervousness about her.  I got the feeling that she had bottled up a lot of her feelings about her mother so the discovery of her diary and fresh information brought it all to the surface.  I couldn’t quite understand why she kept the information to herself though, it didn’t make sense to me.

The diary was an interesting part of the book, I really enjoyed reading from her mother’s perspective and often found myself imagining how Klara must have felt when she read those kind of thoughts from her own mother – I know I would have found it difficult myself.  Another part I enjoyed was the situation with Elfie, I thought she was a lovely character and I liked what her story brought to the book.

Klara’s journey to uncover the truth about her mother was a difficult one to travel, when I got to the epilogue I was surprised to encounter a final revelation – the whole book had a mysterious feel to it with all the discoveries and revelations that it contained.

There were times when the writing felt a bit slow for my liking but don’t let this put you off because this may not be an issue for everyone, I guess I just prefer a faster pace when I’m reading.

This was an interesting read, great for those of you who love a good mystery!


Jessica Ruston was born in Warwickshire.  Her career began in the worlds of theatre, film and publishing and she has written screenplays and two non-fiction books.  Her previous novels were highly acclaimed, with Luxury, her first novel, winning Debut of the Year in the Elle Literature Awards 2009.  Jessica has written a serial for The Lady, Come for Dinner, plus features for Grazia, Red, Scarlet and Guardian Online and reviews for The Lady, Mslexia and The Spectator.  Jessica now lives in Brighton with her husband.

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The Lies You Told Me was published by Headline Review on 6 June 2013 and can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.