Monday 5 July 2021

Shame by Elizabeth Forbes BLOG TOUR @lizzieforbes @RandomTTours #Shame #BookReview


George and Martha have things they’d rather keep hidden from each other: private thoughts, desires and secrets which, if discovered, could cause untold shame. But to an outsider they appear to have a happy, contented and conventional family life. 
At their twins’ Fred and Delilah’s twenty-first birthday party events conspire to uncover disturbing emotional connections, and threaten to reveal a past that has long been concealed.Soon after, a holiday designed to repair the damage exposes further rifts that could spread beyond the family and possibly change their futures forever. 
As a GP, Martha is used to helping her patients mend physically and mentally, but can she do the same for her husband and children, or will the ensuing damage leave wounds that will never heal?

Shame by Elizabeth Forbes was published on 30 May 2021. I'm delighted to kick off this #RandomThingsTours blog tour with my review of this stunning novel. My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review. 

Elizabeth Forbes is a writer who never fails to amaze me, with her perceptive insight into human behaviour and her ability to weave a story that is both gripping and complex, she really is one of the best out there. 

Her first two novels; Nearest Thing To Crazy and Who Are You? have long been amongst my favourite reads of all time. I have recommended them to many people and have waited for a long time for this latest novel. I did have some worries. What if she couldn't pull another story out of her hat? Has it been too long?  Thankfully, I have not been disappointed and Shame now joins the predecessors on my 'favourite books' shelf. 

Shame is the story of a marriage. To outsiders, looking in, it appears that George and Martha have the ideal, long-lasting marriage. They are both in great jobs;  George working in the art world, and Martha as a GP. Their twins; Fred and Delilah are both away studying and about to celebrate their 21st birthday with a party being hosted by their Aunt and Uncle, and held at George's family home. 

Despite the glossy exterior, it becomes clear that Martha, at least, is concerned about her life. She feels middle-aged, invisible and put upon. She feels that George is somewhat distracted, more interested in ensuring that their little dog gets his evening walk, that's when he's actually at home, and not away on one of his many business trips.

Whilst Martha  is grateful that she doesn't have to plan a large birthday party, this again makes her feel something less of a proper Mum, and there's a hint of jealousy there too. She'd so like to be Delilah's confidante, but her daughter seems to prefer to share things with her Aunt instead. There's a tension between the two families. A long history, that is slowly and carefully revealed. By rights, George and his family should live in the large estate, he is the eldest son. However George has always made it clear that he refused to take it on, preferring to explore the art world. Is that quite the correct story though? Despite his airy exterior and his apparent content, George is battling with inner demons that have been eating away at him for years, and the introduction of one person into his life has made him realise that he may not be able to continue to live his lie. 

Shame is such an incredibly well written story, the characters are so flawed, yet the reader can totally empathise with them, even if they don't actually agree with some of the choices made. When the secrets begin to be exposed, there seems to be no stopping them. Shock after shock for the reader, with the after effect ripples resounding throughout the whole cast of characters like an earthquake and after shocks. 

This is a psychological drama at its very best; dark, with incredibly well crafted characters who the author does not spare from pain ... and shame. Highly recommended from me. 

Elizabeth Forbes was born and raised on the Isle of Wight and now lives in Herefordshire with her
husband, two dogs and two hens. 

She published three romantic thrillers under the name Elizabeth Harrington: The Corporate Wife, Making Up and Daddy Darling. She then took a break from writing and enrolled with the Open University to study for a degree in Literature. She completed her BA with First Class Honours, and also achieved the OU's Diploma in Creative Writing. 

Her first psychological suspense novel, Nearest Thing to Crazy, was published by Cutting Edge Press in 2013. BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour and the Mail Online featured the novel because of its gaslighting subject matter. It was a bestseller in Amazon UK's psychological thriller charts. 
Her second novel published by Cutting Edge Press in 2014 was Who Are You? which is a dark and twisty tale focussing on the stormy marriage of two people affected by PTSD and childhood trauma. 

Elizabeth has recently re-published these novels independently with Amazon KDP.

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