BOOK REVIEW: Something to Hide, by Deborah Moggach

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Available now in bookstores nationwide.

Deborah Moggach is the author of the much-loved book The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which has since been made into a film.

In White Springs, Texas, Lorrie is locked into a marriage with Todd. Lorrie loves him very much; they have grown up dirt-poor, were childhood sweethearts and bound together. Todd is in the army and has served two terms in Iraq. Lorrie and Todd and their two teenage kids love to eat and so over the years they have all put on the pounds. Lorrie is very lonely with Todd away so much – she goes on-line, finds herself a job. “Earn hundreds of dollars a month in the comfort of your own home! Become a sales rep with our fast-growing company. Earn commission rates of twenty percent of retail sales prices, rising with the volume of items sold”. The whole thing sounds far too good to be true! All of Lorrie and Todd’s life savings are drained from their savings account.

In Beijng, China Li Jing is married to Wang Lei. They desperately want children, but this was not to be. Wang Lei is a businessman, but as to what he actually does, Li Jing has no idea. She came from a poor background and since their marriage her parents had been looked after by Wang Lei, providing them with a house and everything they could possibly need.

In Pimlico, London, Petra is mulling over her disastrous love life – her failed marriage to Alan and her disconnection from her two adult children.

The way in which these characters are connected becomes clear as you read. Petra has an affair with Jeremy, the husband of her best friend Bev from school days. Jeremy and Petra fall in love, continuing their relationship via email after he flies back to West Africa, ultimately deciding to make thier arrangement permanent, with Jeremy to leave Bev. How to tell Bev and how the transition will take place is something they yet have to decide.

Meanwhile, back in Texas, Lorrie decides to replenish her and Todd’s savings account, without him being aware, by becoming a surrogate for a couple who are unable to have children of their own. That couple live in Beijing. With Todd being deployed for months on end and Lorrie being overweight, deceiving those around her is not that hard.

The story weaves in and out of the three women’s lives. This intriguing story of lies and deception is rather gripping. I became wrapped up in the character’s lives, reading well into the night. The tangled web of lies, interwoven with truth make for a fascinating read.

Reviewed by Christine Frayling

Something to Hide
by Deborah Moggach
Published by Chatto & Windus
ISBN 9781784740474

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