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Would I Lie to You by Aliya Ali-Afzal

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Would I Lie To You by Aliya Ali-Afzal
UK Publication: July 2021
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Head of Zeus (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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?

My Thoughts: This was a complete change of pace for me it has been a long time since I have read anything billed as romance, I would actually disagree with the romance billing and would class this more as a story of family.

What can I say about Faiza? The woman makes every bad decision possible and at various points I wanted to shake her and say open your eyes, to balance this complete lack of judgement she is desperately trying to do her best to save her family albeit in a completely misguided way and I had to admire her spirit.to just keep going even if I didn’t admire what she was actually keeping going for.

Alongside the story of marital deceit and money worries the story also examines what life is like for a Muslim woman married to a white man in London and how their mixed heritage affects their children. For me this look at life in a mixed heritage relationship was the best bit of the book. I appreciated Faiza’s limit of 1 glass of champagne to fit in and her belief that it is easier to have 1 drink than to explain why you don’t drink (it totally is) I liked the discussions about balancing your own life with the demands of kids and aging parents and the way that women have to hide these commitments if they want to be taken seriously in the job market.  I also loved the discussions around casual racism and the comments some of the women use that make Faiza feel that she is an outsider, this was a timely reminder of the importance of words.

Overall I enjoyed this book even though my life experiences are nothing like Faiza’s and her wages and bonuses are figures I could only ever dream of.

Who would like this? I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading about flawed characters doing their best to make sure their flaws are not revealed and for anyone interested in reading about life inside a mixed heritage marriage.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

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