‘Skeletons’ is the latest book by Jane Fallon.
Since she was a little girl Jen always wanted a big happy family. Being an only with just her lonely mother for company was too gloomy for Jen. So when she married Jason and became part of the Masterson clan – a family that could easily have appeared in an Enid Blyton novel – she got exactly what she wanted. For years everything was perfect. But then Jen sees something that she was never meant to see: a scratch on the gloss of her perfect life; a secret that will slowly but surely seep its way to the surface of her world and destroy everything in it. If she keeps this dirty little secret to herself, how long can she pretend nothing is wrong ? How long can she live a lie?
The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Jen, a woman who is living the perfect life, happily married to Jason with two daughters, she enjoys her job as a reception manager and looks forward to her weekends away with her husband’s family, an accepting family that she immediately fell in love with. Having grown up in empty house with only herself and her mother, she relishes the hustle and welcoming arms of Jason’s family. For years Jen lived a lonely life, a life that I can sadly relate to, as an only child and my parents separated, I almost felt like Jane had based Jen on myself although I was quite content with my books! Jen’s relationship with her mother is quite strained, as Jen regularly questions about her father and her mother refuses to get into conversation much to Jen’s frustration as she wonders why one day her father just up and left, so with no proper explanation, Jen is just left to assume that she was never good for her fathers attention.
So when she meets Jason, with his huge loving and welcoming family, Jen is delighted to step into the family that she has always longed for. Amelia, the mother of the family, is a kind lady who takes Jen under her wing and provides Jen with the mother that she has always wanted, caring, attentive and always there to listen and Charles, the father a humorous character and well respected pillar of the community whereas Jason’s sisters Poppy and Jessie present Jen with siblings and new best friends.
But sadly one day when Jen goes out on her lunch break, she witnesses something that will tear the loving family apart. It seems that the perfect family Jen has settled into comfortably has been living a lie and now that lie has been discovered it wants to be brought to the surface and expose it’s ugly truth with or without Jen’s help. But Jen is stuck between a rock and a hard place, does she tell the truth and risk losing it all or does she leave the skeleton in the closet.
Typical of Jane’s previous books, ‘Skeleton’s is a book that is a captivating story, dark and witty with a strong cast. Jen in particular is interesting, in love with a family but once she sees something, it seems that she has removed the rose tainted glasses and every flaw and everything she made allowances suddenly changes her opinion and everything is not so perfect. Realising the life she had become part of is all a lie, Jen battles with her conscious whether to tell the truth or just to leave it well alone.
A story of morals, secrets and living a lie, ‘Skeletons’ is Jane Fallon at her best, an edgy, gritty and unpredictable story that leaves you cynical of happy families. A welcome return to one of my favourite authors.
You can buy Skeletons from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.