Bessie is a seventy-year-old widow living in Chaanakya, New York, with only her cat Spider for company. She devotes most of her time to Francine and her son Davy, who were abandoned by Richard a few years ago, leaving them destitute. The story in interspersed with flashbacks to when Bessie was a junior in high school, fifty years ago. Bessie was going out with Roland, and things were fine until Roland's brother Bart returned to town. Then a series of tragic events conspired to ruin the lives of many, and the repercussions are still being felt today. But what really happened the night of Roland's graduation? What lies were told, and what secrets are still being kept?
This is a story of family secrets and lies and the consequences every action can have. The title can be interpreted in a couple of ways, depending on whether "lies" is used as a noun or a verb. The Seneca River, which runs alongside Bessie's house, is a character in its own right and is featured in many scenes. The language is poetic and lyrical and flows much like the river itself. There are a few minor editing errors but not enough to detract from the reading experience. Interestingly, some parts of the story are told from the point-of-view of Bessie's cat, Spider; this device provides some unusual insights, but I'm not convinced it is necessary.
An emotional and satisfying read.
I received this book in return for an honest review.
Full blog post: http://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/lies-a-river-deep-by-vera-jane-cook.html