Every family has its secrets...Behind the clouds of dementia, Lillian holds memories of a life that her granddaughter Lisa could never imagine. From her childhood in 1920s and 30s Toronto, to a young World War II society bride, through scandal and unthinkable tragedies, Lillian kept her extraordinary life a secret, retreating into a lonely, bitter existence. Curious about her grandmother's mysterious past, Lisa unearths a long-buried secret that may finally bring the truth to light.
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WHAT LIES BEHIND is well-written women’s fiction, although I found the story to be a bit lackluster. Based on the description, I was expecting the grandmother’s life to be filled with memorable accomplishments and/or hardships, and kept waiting for a big family secret to be revealed, which ended up falling outside of how I would define the term "secret." The characters were all realistic, although I never felt much sympathy for the grandmother. I could relate more to the granddaughter’s struggles and enjoyed the sections told from her perspective more than that of the grandmother. That could simply be based on our generational differences rather than the author’s characterization of these two people. I liked that the historic times seemed to be portrayed accurately, and the attitudes and actions of the people involved in the grandmother’s early life struck me as appropriate. Overall, the book was engaging enough to keep me interested, but it didn’t live up to what the description promised.
Not my cup of tea..... This was not what I was expecting when I picked up this book. I assumed that when I read the expert/summary and read “extraordinary life” it was going to be full of surprises not about a pitiful woman. I like to read peppy happy stories, this was depressing. I’m not saying that I don’t ever read sad stories, I do, I love the story “Forbidden” very sad. This story threw me for a loop, I should have done a little more reading/investigating before investing my time and effort in this story, but I didn’t and therefore, I sucked it up and finished the story, with that being said on to the review. After reading several reviews from fellow reviewers there’s really nothing else I could possibly write that would be beneficial to this story. I agree with most that this was a well written book, with no errors that I was able to see. The story line held my interest just enough to finish it, but would I re-read it? I don’t think so. The character development for the grandmother was a lot better than the granddaughter, Lisa and yet I found myself rooting for Lisa more than Lillian. Lillian came from one of those rare families that were never really affected much by the depression. She was privileged, raised by a cold hearted mother whom only taught her that all she had to do was look pretty and marry well, in other words, grow up and be useless, just like her. With only a high school diploma she had nothing to fall back on if things went wrong in her marriage or life, and did they ever go wrong. How does the saying go….the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Well, Lilian sure didn’t, her mother was cold towards her and she did the same to her children. I’m surprised that her kids didn’t end up wacked! Although Lilian’s daughter did find a job that took her far away from her bitter cold hearted mother but her son stayed closed in order to keep an eye on his useless mother. As you can tell I didn’t care for Lilian, and as for Lisa’s character I was sure that she was going to be just like her grandmother, marry well, look pretty and no need for a brain. Until, she proved me wrong and did a 360!! I believe that was the best part of the story. I found the romance that this story was in dire need of, but it was a little too late for me. The story left a sour taste in my mouth and I really cant bring myself to recommend this story to those that I follow and those very few that follow me. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion and review. Title: What Lies Behind Author: Cynthia Hill Format: ebook 312 pgs Length: 21 chapters Genre: Contemporary Adult Published: 8/5/2012 Cover: 2 stars Tense: third person present Setting: Toronto 1920’s - Present POV: Alternates between Lilian & Lisa Characters: Lilian & Lisa Rating: 2 stars Series: No
Since I had an absolute love affair with Cynthia Hill’s first book, Idol Hands, I had rather high expectations for her second book, What Lies Behind. First off, let me just say that the two books are TOTALLY different in every way, save one – I love them both!! The story is told in alternating perspectives – Lillian, the grandmother and Lisa, the granddaughter. Lillian’s story begins in Toronto, 1920 and Lisa is present day. I found myself more attracted to Lily’s story and couldn’t wait to get back to her point of view. That’s not to say that Lisa is boring or a bad character, I think I just identified more with her grandmother. Plus, I really love anything historical. Speaking of history, it seems that a lot of research went into Lillian’s portion of the story. I could almost imagine being in the past and it reminded me a lot of visiting my own grandparents when I was a kid. Cynthia is a great writer. I enjoy her books for several reasons, but the two most prominent are these: I’ve never read anything like Idol Hands or What Lies Behind before. Second, she writes without a feigned importance like some authors do. She doesn’t need to use a bunch of big, fancy words to try to make her works seem more complex. She just weaves a delightful story full of feeling with great, memorable characters. Cynthia Hill is fast becoming one of my favourite Canadian authors.