It gives me great pleasure to be hosting Kerry Fisher today as part of the blog tour for ‘The Woman I Was Before’, where I will be sharing a review. Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC.
A new home can be a happy ending. Or a fresh start. Or a hiding place…
Of all the emotions single mother Kate Jones feels as she walks into her brand new house on Parkview Road, hope is the most unexpected. She has changed her name and her daughter’s, and moved across the country to escape the single mistake that destroyed their lives.
Kate isn’t the only woman on the street starting afresh. Warm, whirlwind Gisela with her busy life and confident children, and sharp, composed Sally, with her spontaneous marriage and high-flying career, are the first new friends Kate has allowed herself in years. While she can’t help but envy their seemingly perfect lives, their friendship might help her leave her guilt behind.
Until one day, everything changes. Kate is called to the scene of a devastating car accident, the consequences of which will test everything the women thought they knew about each other, and themselves.
Can Kate stop her own secrets from unravelling, or was her hope for a new life in vain?
What does TWG think?
Can I get away with just writing that for my review?
Damn it! I don’t even know where to begin. I have the thoughts in my head but they just don’t want to spill out in a coherent manner, so I do apologise in advance if the phrase ‘wow, just wow’ appears multiple times throughout this review!
‘The Woman I Was Before’ is a drama filled, wow-tastic, mystifying, magnetic, thought-provoking read which made me say ‘oh my word….’ out loud more than once. Wow…(see, told you).
Three narratives, three different women, three VERY different lifestyles, all joined together by one little detail; they’re neighbours. A single mum, a mum with two children, and a lady who wants to be a mum, yet each of the women think that the other ladies in the street have much better lives than theirs. Why do they feel like that? Because of social media. Because of the ‘perfect’ lifestyles people showcase on their social pages, showing off to people that they are very happy and that they’re living a drama free life…..
If only it were that simple…right?
The author isn’t saying that people who update their social sites with pictures and updates, telling others what they’re up to and such, are falsifying their lifestyles. She’s not saying that everyone on social media is pretending to be something that they’re not. Instead, Kerry Fisher, along with help from Gisela, Sally and Kate, highlights just how flawed society is when it comes to social media, and how people are very quick to compare their own lives against a little snapshot which only gives a glimpse into 5 seconds of a person’s life. I’m sure we have all scrolled down Facebook, looking at people’s pictures and feeling a pang of jealousy at how happy people look, or how we wished our lives were like there’s, right? But how many of us have actually stood back and thought that we don’t know what else is going on in their lives?
‘The Woman I Was Before’ isn’t several chapters of women comparing themselves to each other, it’s wayyyy more than that and, to be honest with you all, I wasn’t expecting just how deep the storyline ended up being. I have to be careful of spoilers here, but there is a lot more to Kate, Gisela, and Sally which meets the eye. They all have their own reasons for the way that they come across, yet they are all so afraid of showing their flaws in case people no longer want to be around them. It’s a shame that we have reached a time where people are too afraid to be themselves because of how other people perceive them, and yes, I am guilty of doing that. We all are. However, when you read just how devastating it can be for a family involved in the constant pretending and uncertainty of who they actually are, it can be quite an emotional thing to read.
Kerry Fisher always amazes me with every story she produces, yet with ‘The Woman I Was Before’, this author has gone above and beyond and produced what I think is her best book to date. I was in awe at the complexity of each character and their journeys – they’re all so different yet still very similar. One character in particular was involved in a situation which put my heart in my mouth in shock. I guess part of me saw something like that happening, but it still came out of nowhere and left me flying through the pages to find out the outcome of the event. I mean, why does it always take a shock to the system for someone to realise that things aren’t right?
I went through a variety of feelings whilst reading Kerry Fisher’s latest novel, such as anger, devastation, empathy and of course sadness. I was hooked by the dramatic suspense and constant urge to find out more. Whilst I wanted everyone involved to be happy and have the ending that they deserved, I knew fine well that life really isn’t like that and, seeing as the author had written a story which was so in keeping with modern day society and the challenges that come with that, I knew that the conclusion would be a realistic one.
Wearing my heart on my sleeve, ‘The Woman I Was Before’ captured my heart and soul from the very beginning. The suspense was out of this world and the fact that the characters went through relatable things meant that I was able to fall into their lives as though they were really happening. I absolutely LOVED this book and I wish I could climb to the top of a hill with a megaphone and shout about it until I’m blue in the face. Honestly, wow – this book is everything I could have wished for and more. A stunning, addictive, and empowering read which made realise that I deserve to NOT compare my life to Jane Doe’s on Facebook because I am worth way more than that because I am me, and there is only one of you. What could be better than that?
About the author.
Kerry Fisher is the bestselling author of five novels, including The Silent Wife and The Secret Child. She was born in Peterborough, studied French and Italian at the University of Bath and spent several years living in Spain, Italy and Corsica. After returning to England to work as a journalist, she eventually abandoned real life stories for the secrets of fictional families. She now lives in Surrey with her husband, two teenage children and a naughty Lab/Schnauzer called Poppy.