Author: Lisa Hall
Publication Date: 17th March 2016
Source: Review Copy
They say every marriage has its secrets.
But no one sees what happens behind closed doors.
And sometimes those doors should never be opened …
Sal and Charlie are married. They love each other. But they aren’t happy. Sal cannot leave, no matter what Charlie does – no matter how much it hurts.
I'm not even exaggerating when I say that when I was writing the notes to what is the review you are reading now I could still hear my heart beating because it was going that fast. I chose Between You and Me as a random read from my TBR and became so consumed by what I was reading that I had to read the whole thing in one sitting. Between You and Me is Lisa Hall's debut novel, and I'm very excited to read her future books if this is the kind of writing and characterisation that we can expect from her. I also challenge Lisa to come up with a more spectacular twist than the one in this book, something I think will be very difficult.
I honestly do not even know where to start with reviewing this book. I almost don't even want to write one because I'm terrified of slipping up and revealing something that I shouldn't. I experienced all of the emotions whilst reading this book in just a few short hours. Lisa really draws you into the story, so much so that you become completely caught up in it and totally addicted to what you are reading. Part of me at times wanted to look away from my Kindle, but it was just impossible because I simply could not have stopped reading. Had I picked this book up at a time when I had plans in the near future, they would have been cancelled.
Between You and Me tells the story of what started out as a perfect couple, Sal and Charlie. They met at university and went on to get married and now have a young child. As the breadwinner, Charlie has a high-powered, and therefore high-stress, job whilst Sal remains at home as the typical stay-at-home parent but constantly yearns for something more. To most other people, they appear a normal couple. But behind closed doors Charlie abuses Sal both physically and mentally, and this does at times make for some quite uncomfortable, but absolutely compelling reading. Lisa writes in a way that almost makes you feel like a witness to the action, which just added to the overall terror for me because these characters almost become real in your mind, and I found myself at times wanting to reach in and help Sal but at other times screaming in frustration because of certain things. Most people always say 'why didn't they escape or leave with family or friends?' and Lisa shows that it is never just as simple as that, and this whole story feels scarily real in places. Her writing is powerful, emotive and very effective.
This book is being marketed as the psychological thriller with a twist you won't see coming and I almost felt the smack in my face when the twist arrived in Between You and Me. I wasn't even sure I'd read it correctly! My reaction must have been comical, I actually said out loud 'oh my fucking God' and then had to read, and then read again, and just once more for good measure, the previous couple of pages to get my head around everything. I then went straight on to Twitter to scream about this book and I imagine that most people who read it will end up doing exactly the same thing. The story in Between You and Me will remain with me for a long time and even the day after finishing this book, I couldn't stop thinking about it in work the next day (so of course spent my break shouting about it again on Twitter). I will be recommending this book to everybody and I imagine later on in the year this will be one I will remember more than most. At the time of writing it's definitely one of the best books that I've read this year and one that I cannot recommend enough.