Lies of the Heart
Review: Michelle Boyajian's debut novel, Lies of the Heart, is a thriller that's overshadowed — in a good way — by a multi-faceted, frequently poignant, story of a woman coming to terms with her true self through the aftermath of tragic events involving those she loves.
Katie Burrelli is a documentary filmmaker, a profession she enjoys even if it is looked down upon by her family. Her older sister, to whom she is always compared, is a successful psychologist and her husband, Nick, is a speech therapist, who specializes in working with mentally challenged adults. One of his patients, Jerry, a man with the intellect of a 10-year-old, is someone with whom Nick has made great progress, and of whom he is justifiably proud. Jerry is around Katie and Nick so much that he's a virtual member of their family. But seemingly suddenly, the dynamics of their interpersonal relationship changes, Jerry turning more to Katie for support as Nick pushes her away. Finally, Nick says he needs some time alone, away from Katie. But then everything changes when Jerry shoots and kills Nick, explaining that it did it to save him. From what or from whom, no one knows, and Jerry cannot explain. Katie turns on Jerry for killing her husband, and wants to do everything in her power to see that he is convicted and punished for the crime.
But is during the trial that Katie begins to see her life from a different perspective. She had always lived in the shadow of her older sister, and even in her marriage to Nick, she never believed herself to be his equal. What they owned, even their house, came from Nick and his family. And what did she really know about the man she married? Furthermore, what does she know about the man who killed him, and his reasons for doing so? And maybe most important of all, what does she know about herself?
Lies of the Heart is a beautifully written novel of how tragedy can alter a person's life in unexpected — and not necessarily unpleasant — ways. The author uses Katie's profession as a documentary filmmaker in a way that forces her (and the reader) to examine events from a different, often multiple, points of view, not always objectively but certainly critically. This is a very good book and highly recommended.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Lies of the Heart.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of Lies of the Heart for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Lies of the Heart: None
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Lies of the Heart by Michelle Boyajian
Publication Date: April 2010
List Price: $25.95