Home Truths

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Pub Date 1 Aug 2024 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2024
Atlantic Books | Allen & Unwin

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What's left when your family is destroyed by lies?

Livia Denby is on trial for attempted murder. The jury have reached a verdict.

Two years earlier, Livia was a probation officer in Yorkshire, her husband Scott a teacher. Their children, Heidi and Noah, round out a happy family - until the day Scott's brother dies.

Grief and guilt leave Scott searching for answers, which take him into the world of conspiracy theories, his grip on reality weakening until he disappears with the children. As the authorities launch a search, Livia begins her own and discovers that Noah's life is in appalling danger.

Livia's family has been torn apart, and now her son's life is hanging in the balance. Just how far will she go to save the ones she loves?

What's left when your family is destroyed by lies?

Livia Denby is on trial for attempted murder. The jury have reached a verdict.

Two years earlier, Livia was a probation officer in Yorkshire, her...

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ISBN 9781838959524
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Average rating from 28 members

Featured Reviews

The best book. Gripping and impossible to put down, the plot keeps the reader totally engaged as this likeable and decent family struggle to survive. Despite all the negatives, it’s a validation of the fundamental goodness of so many people and yet with no clue as to how it might end until the very last pages.

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What an absolutely fabulous, scary read! It just shows how precarious life can be however secure we may think we are. Charity's characters are so believable. I found it so easy to identify with Livia and the terrible decisions she has to make. It is terrifying how quickly the internet can influence and take over people's thinking especially in worrying times like during the pandemic. A not to be missed book in my opinion.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy. All opinions are my own

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Thank you to NetGalley and Atlantic Books for this ARC.

In 2022, Livia is in court for attempted murder. How did she get here?

Livia and Scott, with son Noah, 6, who has asthma, and daughter Heidi, 13, used to be a happy family. Livia is a probation officer and Scott a teacher. On Heidi's 13th birthday in 2019, Scott's brother Nicky who had uncontrolled type 1 diabetes, suddenly dies, and it becomes the catalyst for Scott trying to alleviate his guilt by searching for answers for his untimely death online. It is terrifying how easily he falls into a rabbit hole of videos peddling conspiracy theories and fake news, which are only exacerbated when the 2020 COVID pandemic hits and makes him seek solace in the truther community.

"Online recruiters use many of the same techniques we see in quasi-religious sects or cults. They know exactly what they’re doing. They offer community and belonging to individuals who feel disconnected. Relevance to those who feel irrelevant. Purpose and meaning to those whose lives seem pointless."

Livia tries her absolute best to bring Scott back to reality, but he has already lost his friends and his job and acts increasingly irrational.

"I was losing him to an enemy I couldn’t even see."
"Ooh, but they were clever. It’s almost like they reached in and grabbed him through his computer screen."

When Scott's beliefs endanger Noah's life, this becomes a high-octane, frantic race to save Noah before it's too late - but is truther Dr Jack someone much closer to home than previously thought? And how far will Livia go to save her son?

It is an all too realistic account of how even sane people can start believing that everyone is out to get them. We get Livia's POV but also Scott's and Heidi's so it's quite balanced out. The characters are believable even though Heidi sounds maybe a bit too adult for her age.

This is one heck of a book. What a powerful, engaging story! It is part family tragedy, part breathless thriller and part courtroom drama, and I was here for all of it.

This is my first book by Charity Norman but it certainly won't be the last. Absolutely gripping until the last page - I read this in a day. Loved, loved, loved. Don't skip the acknowledgements!

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Charity always writes so beautifully and I was delighted to be allowed to read and review her latest book.

A family living in Yorkshire, completely normal life happening on a completely normal day. Until a missing phone sparks a series of events beginning in a family tragedy that unlocks a never ending chain of repercussions for all…..

Livia begins the story in the dock of a courtroom, waiting for the jury to return. We don’t find out until much later what she is on trial for but know it links to the starting point of the book, back in 2019. The pre pandemic days.

I devoured this book and will be highly recommending.

Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read and review.

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I always look forward to a new Charity Norman book and this one didn’t disappoint. If you like your fiction with a bit of a twist this is for you. Beautifully written characters as always.

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Charity Norman is an author that I love, and have read all of her books! This one really didn’t disappoint… I loved it though I really wanted to smack Scott! Livia was such a saint putting up with him…… I enjoyed it lots and could have read it in one go….. Highly recommend

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What a stunning book! Very uncomfortable at times and the tension never lets up as Scott slips further and further into the world of conspiracy theories and Livia tries to hold her family together. Meanwhile the constant anxiety about Noah's severe asthma hangs like a dark cloud over the story, foreshadowing the threat you know is coming. As a mother I ask myself the question "would you do the same thing as Livia?", the question and the answer give me sleepless nights! This is a book that you don't pick up and put down as a light read, it's all-engrossing, disturbing and without a doubt a 5-star read.

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Loved the unusual premise of this book . Charity Norman writes beautifully with fully developed characters, and riveting storyline. Having read most of her books, I can say each books is different from the other and I hope the wait for her next book isn’t too long. Thoroughly enjoyed everything about this book and know it will stay with me for awhile - so much still to digest.

Thank you NetGalley and the publishers, Allen & Unwin for this ARC.

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Home Truths is a very, very clever book. Before the pandemic of 2020 it would be hard to believe, but this event simply served to reinforce Scott’s wild conspiracy theories and I was completely captivated by the story as it unfolded.

Charity Norman develops her characters brilliantly. I found myself being torn from wanting to scream at Scott to feeling desperately sorry for him. The ‘domino effect’ was fascinating to observe. How one event can create such catastrophe was terrifying.

The power of the internet is paramount in this story. One random event, one viewpoint from a dangerous online lurker leading to one click on a dark website has the potential to destroy everything.

Do find time to read the acknowledgments, which add an extra dimension to the novel.

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I loved this book, from one of my favourite authors.

The story is set in Yorkshire, and is told by Livia, a probation officer, her husband Scott, a secondary school teacher, and their teenage daughter Heidi, as they look back on the events that led Livia to be on trial for attempted murder. It starts in early 2022 and then goes back to August 2019, where it all began on Heidi’s 13th birthday.
I really liked Livia and rooted for her right from the first page. Scott however did my head in quite early on! Heidi I felt very sorry for more and more as the story unfolded.

The pace and the twists were perfect all the way through, making me want to find out what was going to happen next.

As I mentioned above Charity Norman is one of my favourite authors and I loved the way she tackled the very beginning of the Covid Pandemic and the ensuing conspiracy theories. Two huge subjects we’ve all been touched by, some more than others. There’s a an excellent author’s note at the end of the book which is a must read.

Highly recommended if you enjoy domestic and courtroom dramas, it's one of my favourite reads this year!

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