Review: Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Whitfield Thomson

Title: Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Whitfield Thomson
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Fiction
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Lucy’s two young children have been gone for nine years now, an unbearable burden that haunts her even more because of her role in what happened. You can hardly see a glimpse of that carefree girl Lucy was before she married Matt. She was a magnet for men who were bad for her—men like Griffin. With shattering, unthinkable turns that will wrench every mother’s heart, this suspenseful story probes the issue of how well you know the person you married. How much can you trust them with your heart—and with your future?

The Review:

James Whitfield Thomson’s extraordinary debut novel, Lies You Wanted to Hear, is a compelling story about the disintegration of a marriage and its messy aftermath. Impossible to put down, this spellbinding tale of love gone wrong will leave readers questioning what choices they might make under similar circumstances.

Lucy Thornhill is on the rebound following the demise of her long term and tempestuous relationship with Griffin when she agrees to a blind date with Matt Drobyshev. Hard working, loyal and all around good guy Matt immediately falls for Lucy and although he clearly sees her faults, his feelings for her make it easy for him to overlook them. While Lucy likes Matt, she is not in love with him but she continues to date him although she still harbors feelings for Griffin. When Griffin re-enters her life, Lucy makes a fateful decision that sets into motion a chain of events that spans over twenty years.

Lucy and Matt are richly drawn and highly complex characters. Lucy is overwhelmed by motherhood and plagued by feelings of inadequacy. Matt is very comfortable and at ease with fatherhood and he remains deeply in love with Lucy. Following the birth of their second child, Lucy suffers from a severe bout of post-partum depression and despite Matt’s patience and understanding, their marriage never quite recovers. Once again, Griffin’s reappearance in Lucy’s life spells disaster for the struggling couple.

Lies You Wanted to Hear is written in first person from both protagonists’ point of view. The chapters alternate between Matt and Lucy’s perspective and provide the reader with each characters’ viewpoint of unfolding events. Lucy’s actions and dishonesty paint her in a very unflattering light for much of the story. It is much easier to sympathize with Matt, especially when the marriage begins to unravel. But in the aftermath of Matt’s questionable decision, Lucy becomes the more sympathetic character and by the novel’s end, she is one who undergoes the most dramatic transformation.

Lies You Wanted to Hear poses some very interesting questions about the unwitting repercussions of the choices we make. Many readers will be able to relate to the struggles of both characters and all will be left wondering what they would do if faced with the same situation. All in all, an amazing first outing by James Whitfield Thomson that I highly recommend.

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