Book Review: How It Was by Janet Ellis

Arc copy cover

Arc copy courtesy of http://Netgalley.co.and https://www.johnmurraypress.co.uk

Publication Date 8th of August, 2019

Description (netgalley.co.uk)

In a 1970s village in rural Kent, lives go on in an unremarkable way. But Marion Deacon, struggling with being a wife and mother, is about to set events in motion that she cannot control in a story of love, motherhood, betrayal, and long-hidden secrets . . . because everyone has at least one secret.

My Review 3🌟

Marion is a bored housewife. She has a caring, loving husband Michael. A 14 year old daughter, Sarah. And, a seven year old son, Eddie. She seems to have the perfect life but what she decides to do has a knock on detrimental effect on her family.

I’ll be honest I nearly gave up on this book. The narrative was quite hard to follow. It kept jumping from different points of view and timeline, sometimes without any clear indication of who we were hearing from or when. (However, this was a proof copy from Netgalley, maybe the confusion will be ironed out)

Marion was a very unlikeable character, and it took me a fair while to figure her out. But, when it became clear of some of the reasoning behind her actions it gave the character meaning.

The relationships portrayed in this story were well thought out and moulded the storyline. We had Marion’s relationship with her kids and husband, also hints of her childhood. There was the sibling relationship of Marion’s children, which was lovely to read as we saw the love and hate within.
A little annoyance with me was Sarah’s diary entries. I would like to have seen it written more in the language of a teen, some of the descriptive writing within the diary entries did not scream teenager.
Despite my early thoughts of quitting. I am glad I carried on, because this did turn out to be a good story of unraveling lies and home truths.

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