I am delighted to share my review today for Would I Lie To You? by Aliya Ali-Afzal. This is a book I requested to read from House of Zeus via NetGalley and I am so glad I did because it is fabulous.
I am including this as part of #20booksofsummer reading challenge, this is a change to my list! 🙂
From fresh new voice Aliya Ali-Afzal, Would I Lie to You? is a page-turning, warm and funny debut about what happens when you have your dream life – and are about to lose it.
At the school gates, Faiza fits in. It took a few years, but now the snobbish mothers who mistook her for the nanny treat her as one of their own. She’s learned to crack their subtle codes, speak their language of handbags and haircuts and discreet silver watches. You’d never guess, at the glamorous kids’ parties and the leisurely coffee mornings, that Faiza’s childhood was spent following her parents round the Tooting Cash ‘n’ Carry.
When her husband Tom loses his job in finance, he stays calm. Something will come along, and in the meantime, they can live off their savings. But Faiza starts to unravel. Raising the perfect family comes at a cost – and the money Tom put aside has gone. When Tom’s redundancy package ends, Faiza will have to tell him she’s spent it all.
Unless she doesn’t…
It only takes a second to lie to Tom. Now Faiza has six weeks to find £75,000 before her lie spirals out of control. If anyone can do it, Faiza can: she’s had to fight for what she has, and she’ll fight to keep it. But as the clock ticks down, and Faiza desperately tries to put things right, she has to ask herself: how much more should she sacrifice to protect her family?
This is a debut and one that I immediately fell for as I began reading. The pages flew by as I read this over the course of one day. The author made it so easy to submerge me into the life of Faiza’s life.
Faiza is a character who is so desperate to fit in, no matter the cost. This isn’t really a problem until her husband Tom loses his job. Their savings have been decimated as Faiza gets sucked into keeping up with the elite mums at school. Wanting to be one of the clique. Not wanting to be on the outside, to be part of a group and to feel as good as those around her.
Initially, I couldn’t understand why Faiza would want to be part of this group of upper-class mothers until I got further into the story. I started to understand her upbringing and the reasons behind her spending. Faiza is a Pakistani Muslim, she is in a multicultural marriage and has three children. She, as many other parents stay at home, runs the house, looks after the children and her husband works long hours to provide for them. They do have a lavish lifestyle and not wanting others to notice the lack of money Faiza does what she can to keep the charade of “being fine” going as long as she can.
The author has brought many things to this story, money worries that lead to marriage problems, arguments, stress and keeping their heads above water. Having a change of roles for the parents was such a good route to go down, but then this route turned dark and highlighted other issues. Being a woman working in a high powered city job has a whole set of other problems.
This is a brilliant story, one that had me engrossed from start o finish. It has such good pacing to it and it reflects the spiral and panic as Faiza tries to keep juggling various problems. Cultural differences become a problem and Faiza is not the only one to notice this, rather than confront it head-on, the author uses Faiza to approach this in a different way. There are several eye-opening moments in the book and not just the more obvious ones either.
This is a great read and I am really looking forward to reading more by this author. This is one for readers who like contemporary fiction, family life and relationships. It is one I would definitely recommend.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or a share would be amazing 🙂 xx