Façade by Helen Matthews

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A drowned child. Estranged sisters. A once-perfect home.

Silence echoes louder than truth.

When seventeen-year-old Rachel’s baby brother drowns and her older sister, Imogen, escapes to live abroad with Simon, her musician boyfriend, Rachel must face the family’s grief and disintegration alone.

Twenty years later, Rachel is a successful businesswoman, with a daughter of her own, supporting her parents and their elegant Georgian home, The Old Rectory, that shackles them to the past.

Simon’s sudden death in Ibiza brings Imogen back, impoverished and resentful. Her family owes her, and she will stop at nothing to reclaim what she believes is rightly hers.

The rift between the sisters seems permanent. While Imogen has lived a nomadic life, filled with intrigue, in Spain and Tunisia, Rachel’s has appeared stable and successful but, behind the veneer, cracks are appearing. Now, she is vulnerable.

As the wall of silence and secrecy crumbles, danger stalks Rachel’s family. She must re-examine her baby brother’s death, find out what happened in Tunisia, and fight to hold onto everything she’s achieved –or risk losing it all.

Façade is a gripping tale of loss, guilt and danger.

My thoughts

The title is perfect for this story of a family presenting themselves to the world and to each other only as they want to be seen. The story is told in alternating points of view – Rachel, the care worn daughter, sister and mother who is trying to juggle a lot of balls, and Imogen the free spirit who carries a chip on her shoulder her shoulder and sees life as a glass half empty.

I felt a bit distant from this very privileged family for a short while until the cracks slowly started to show us what was hiding behind the façade, but the family members slowly gained individual identies as their struggles were shown. The secrets were revealed slowly throughout the book and the story was cleverly done and definitely had an air of suspense in places. I was genuinely worried for one character!

The author’s last book was a good read and I think this one is even better!

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