This was another fast paced, really interesting and insightful read from Kerry Fisher. Since I discovered this author last year, I have bought all her books I can find and she never disappoints.
‘The Woman I Was Before’ is a story that follows the lives of three families who have recently moved into a gated community somewhere in England. Their lives all look perfect on the outside especially on social media where they frequently post how wonderful things are but in reality they all have struggles and secrets that they would never want anyone to know about. Kate is a single mum with a teenage daughter and a past that she would not want her new friends to discover. Sally on the other hand is happily married with no kids, has the dream job that takes her to so many countries that people only see in magazines but hides a secret desire from everyone. Then Gisela, the perfect homemaker, who invites everyone over for parties and barbecues with her loving husband and two kids seems to be having the time of her life but discovers that she has been living a lie. An accident occurs and Kate who is a paramedic is called to the scene. She discovers that Sally’s husband has a terrible secret and this will trigger a series of events which forces everyone to bare their real lives out. In the end, they realize that it’s better to be true to yourself and others than to fake it.
The highlight of this story for me is how it questions why people feel the need to update the world about mundane things like what they had for breakfast or how they are “feeling right now” on social media. The fact is that most of what we portray about our lives on social media is not quite the truth! And this makes others think their lives are so bad because they don’t have what you seem to have.
My advice to people who spend most of their time on social media is – don’t take anything posted by people too seriously. When someone spends a few seconds taking a picture and hashtags it “life is awesome”, know that the picture doesn’t represent the totality of that person’s life and maybe the picture was taken/posted as a way to escape real life troubles.
My favorite character was Gisela. Despite all her frequent Facebook posts, she was the realest out of the lot. She also worked hard at being a supportive wife and mother and I could relate to certain aspects of her life.What I didn’t enjoy about this book was the way the writer dragged Kate’s big secret from the beginning of the book up till the end. I don’t think the bits and pieces of her story that came out at different points in the book made the reveal worth waiting for. I was so exhausted that when it finally came out, I was like ” that’s it?”. It wasn’t a big hit for me. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the fact that it addressed a topic as important as ‘sudden infant death’ and how it affects victims but I just think it was too much of a drag in my opinion.
Despite the above, it was still a really great read and I look forward to Kerry’s next book. I highly recommend it to everyone!
Rating: 4 Stars
Published: March 22nd, 2019 by Bookatuer
Purchase @ www.amazon.co/thewomaniwasbefore
The Author: Kerry Fisher is the bestselling author of five novels, including The Silent Wife and The Secret Child. She was born in Peterborough, studied French and Italian at the University of Bath and spent several years living in Spain, Italy and Corsica. She is married with two children and her dog.