Book review: The Liar's Chair, by Rebecca Whitney
To all outward appearances, Rachel Teller is in a happy, loving marriage with a devoted and successful husband, David. But the big house, fast cars, and expanding and profitable business mask the truth of an unhappy, loveless relationship based on control and abuse.
We learn within the first two sentences that Rachel is having an affair. She is clearly not happy with her home life, but is too afraid to make a change. Within the first few pages we witness Rachel knocking down and killing a man who was walking along a country road. She hides the body, but confides in David. He then destroys the evidence, and insists that they have to carry on as before, as though nothing had happened.
Using flashbacks to her childhood and recollections of her early marriage with David, we gradually understand the horrors Rachel has endured over the years. We start to see what may have caused what slowly becomes a slide into depression and mania. Wracked with guilt, Rachel is determined to try to make amends for what she has done, but David continually stops her. Her drunken indiscretions become more apparent, and the wrath of her husband more dangerous.
As I read this compelling book, I kept longing for Rachel to make a wiser choice, to change her course. But with the years of abuse, neglect and control over her, she seems destined to follow the same path. With a depression and self-loathing hanging over her, her options appear limited, and she is drawn back to a place of hurt, pain and destruction.
This debut novel by Rebecca Whitney is set in and around Brighton, and brilliantly tells the life of its main characters with a glimmer of hope just out of reach.
This is a great book and will keep you hoping and rooting for Rachel right to the end.
The Liar's Chair, by Rebecca Whitney is published by Pan Macmillan and available to order from their website.
Disclosure: Pan Macmillan sent me this book to keep for the purposes of review. All opinions are our own.