Happy families don't stay happy for long in British author Lewis' world: here, the idyll of their charmed life is destroyed by an adulterous husband and a bullied teenage daughter.
Though their move to the Welsh coast seemed an impetuous plan of Jack's after he was laid off, Jenna has to admit she loves their beautiful new home, the quaint town, the closeness to the sea, and the help of her mother, Kay, who lives nearby. Jack and Jenna's new online publishing venture, which they're starting with the help of business consultant Martha Gwynne, will soon be up and running, so Jenna will be able to concentrate on her third novel, though that will never be easy with 5-year-old twins, rambunctious 8-year-old Josh, and 15-year-old Paige at home. Paige, popular and outgoing, has thrived at her new school until recently, when someone hacked her Facebook account and began posting vile remarks in her name. Now she's nearly shunned at school, and the bullying begins to escalate. Paige keeps quiet at home, not wanting to add to the domestic misery. Though Jenna has suspected it for a few weeks, Jack finally admits he's having an affair with Martha, and he's moving out. To her credit, Lewis does what novelists seldom do, filling Jenna and Jack's dialogue with just the kind of lusty anger and backbiting one would expect under the circumstance. Things get worse: Jack has embezzled tens of thousands of pounds from their clients, and Paige has been visiting suicide websites. The layers of abuse both Jenna and Paige endure can be overwhelming reading, but Lewis knows her audience—the wrongdoers get their comeuppance while our heroines somehow make out better than before.
A real page-turner that will make you glad of your own duller life.