Monday, 29 June 2015

Book Review: Something to Hide by Deborah Moggach

I'm not a particulary fast reader but I sped through Deborah Moggach's latest novel Something to Hide* in two days, which is pretty spectacular for me. I wasn't even trying to finish it which I think probably shows the ease in which Moggach's writing manages to capture my attention. Obviously as the name of the book suggests the characters are all involved in a series of secrets which all connect to each other in various ways. Some more closely than others.

There's Petra the sixty something year old divorcee who lives in England and has just started a love affair with her best friends' husband of thirty five years; Lorrie, a Texan army wife and mother of two who has just lost their family's life savings through an internet scam and Li Jing, who doesn't know what her husband does for a job outside of their Beijing apartment, she just knows she's relieved to find out that her husband's infertility and not hers is to blame for their lack of a child. Linking all of these stories is the setting of Oreya, West Africa where Petra's lover works and Jing's husband has business connections to the dark business of the ivory trade.

Despite the multiple storylines Something to Hide is an easy and interesting read and one that had me ploughing through it in just a few hours. I enjoy the way Moggach has an eccentric cast of characters who are all far from perfect and Something to Hide is a fascinating exploration of the lengths we go to protect others from our secrets. The only downside to this novel is the split storytelling does take away from developing any emotional connection between the reader and the characters. Although it makes for a quick and enjoyable plot and I was never quite sure which direction the story was going to end up in I also felt like sometimes Moggach only allowed a glossing over some of the characters situations. The story of middle aged philanderer Petra was given the most page time but it would have been great to have a similar insight into Lorrie's story especially as her answer to covering up her losing their life savings is extremely mad-cap.

All in all Something to Hide was a really enjoyable, funny and a bit mad in parts read that I think would be perfect for those looking for a light and easy story to get hooked into.

*Thank you to NetGalley for giving me an advanced copy of Something to Hide in exchange for an honest review!

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