A Good Liar
Jessie Whelan has always been a good liar, trying to protect her independence and her career as a teacher. But she risks everything when, after years of discreet loneliness, she embarks on a love affair. In the meantime, her secret past draws ever closer.
Ruth Sutton’s powerful novel is the first part of a trilogy set in the north-west corner of England, ‘Between the Mountains and the Sea’. She creates an intimate picture of interconnected lives in Cumbria in the early twentieth century.
A Good Liar: (Between the Mountains and the Sea Book 1) Ruth Sutton
I don’t know how I came about this book, I think it was recommended in a group, but imagine my joy when I started reading to find that it’s set in my area—not many fiction books are. It ramped up my enjoyment no end, as I knew all the places mentioned.
This story unveils a deep secret that a pillar of the local community has been hiding. Nobody would ever imagine that the school headmistress, Jessie, had ever done such a thing. It’s a compelling narrative woven around the complexities of Jessie Whelan’s life. She’s a teacher hiding under a façade of deception. The book explores the intricacies of Jessie’s character, portraying her as a woman driven by the desire to safeguard her independence and career. It’s a very honest look at the fact that not all women want to have their peaceful life turned upside down.
But once bitten isn’t twice shy for our Jessie. As she embarks on a clandestine love affair, it captures the tension between vulnerability and the yearning for connection, making the reader empathetic to Jessie’s dilemma
And we see the story from the flip side of the coin, too.
Set against the backdrop of the north-west corner of England in the early twentieth century, Sutton’s writing skilfully paints a picture of Cumbria, building an immersive experience for readers. I adored the travelogue elements of the story. The portrayal of interconnected lives adds several layers of richness to the narrative. The unveiling of Jessie’s secret past keeps the reader turning pages to uncover the mystery within the picturesque landscapes.
This is the captivating first book in a trilogy called Between the Mountains and the Sea. The evocative storytelling offers a poignant exploration of love, deception, and the intricate dance of lives in a historical setting that comes to life within beautiful West Cumbria.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2012
Katherine Black / Susan (Sooz) Simpson
Founder of Best Book Editors
Katherine has held almost every single job imaginable, from painting gnomes to zookeeper. She spent most of her life in the caring profession and has managed both a nursing home and a care agency. But her passion for the written language always brings her home to novel writing.
Born in Tyne-and-Wear, North-East England, she has settled in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria, with her partner, two dogs, a cat, an iguana and a python (just don’t ask her which of those six things is her favourite!).
She specialises in content creation and social media outreach, and has been a developmental editor for hundreds of clients. She owns and operates bestbookeditors.com where she helps foundling authors polish their skills. However, after being diagnosed with a dramatic brain condition in 2022, she has had to let 23 staff go, and scale back the business. BBE is still very much open, we are just fewer and can’t take as much work on.
Katherine Black is the author of psychological thriller/detective/fantasy adventure novels.