Everlasting Lies Book Review
In Everlasting Lies, Edina Paxton is kissed at twelve, seduced at fourteen and married with child at fifteen. She immediately regrets her marriage to Charles Vernon and is relieved when he leaves to fight in the trenches during WW1. She soon finds love, comfort and sexual satisfaction with Bill, another soldier and the boy who first kissed her.
About Everlasting Lies
Charles is invalided out of the army and is sent to India on a hospital ship. There, he becomes a manager of a coalmine in Britain’s Indian Empire, with all the privileges that his position rewards, including sexual favours from female employees. At the end of his army service in 1920 he returns to England to collect his family and return to India, only to be greeted with the news that while he was away Edina was at play. She is pregnant.
Reluctantly, Edina and her three children sail for India with Charles and Edina gives birth to her fourth child while sailing south on the Red Sea. On reaching India Charles finds his Indian mistress is pregnant and Edina finds Charles’s Indian boss to be very attractive. It’s a mutual attraction. Neither Edina nor Charles is a saint.
Piecing together fragments of her grandmother’s remarkable and tragic story, Everlasting Lies is Barbara’s loving tale of the early life of Edina, her grandmother, and Charles, Edina’s husband. They both experience the horrors of WW1 and, in hopes of renewing their marriage, start new lives as members of the upper class in Imperial India.
Just wow! Everlasting Lies is an incredible story that leaves you shocked, happy, angry at times and at other times emotionally involved. Edina had a horrible transition into adulthood after becoming pregnant. My heart ached for Edina throughout the novel, she is a tender soul who had her heart broken and tested far too many times. The way she was treated by Charles and her lack of rights in general is shocking and disturbing. Charles at many times at the book made me so angry and I wanted to lash out at him. He never treated Edina the way she truly deserved and took advantage of her age and naive nature. Edina tries to be kind and play the good wife but it does take quite a toll on her throughout the novel. I felt like she aged herself and separated herself from her family and friends, the true protectors that she needed.
When he drags his family to India, a trip that I was personally so angry at him for enforcing on Edina and her children, we see him almost redeem himself both in Edina’s eyes and our own (ALMOST!). Edina has a difficult choice to make – make the most of their marriage, forgive themselves for their mistake (which also includes her own affair) or for them to continue to stray. The move to India puts a lot at stake for both of them as well as opens their eyes to their own mistakes and how it has affected their children.
Everlasting Lies is an incredible tale that will leave you shocked, angry, full of emotion and raw. I never wanted to put this novel down. I had to continue to read Edina and Charles’ story, although many times I prayed Charles would just leave my prayers were never answered. The story ends at an almost crucial point in their marriage – where they decide to work on their marriage but there are hints of the start of more affairs. I wanted to know so much more! You will fall in love with this fantastic novel!
About the Author
Barbara Warren always has the pedal to the metal. Born in England and educated at a convent, she left school at sixteen and was selling encyclopedias in the roughest part of London at eighteen. She married and emigrated to Canada when she was twenty-three, had three charming daughters, went to university when she was thirty-six and retired from teaching in her mid fifties.
Then she pursued her passion for the arts and for travel. She and her husband rode camels in India, elephants in Nepal and horses in Montana. They hitchhiked in Norway, cycled across Denmark and snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef. Barbara’s paintings grace homes in Canada, USA and Mexico and she designs her own clothes. She spends the winters in Mexico and the summers in the bible belt of southern Alberta.
Her first novel, Everlasting Lies, tells the story of her grandparents’ love affairs with each other and with others. They struggle to survive in the last years of Victorian England and the horrors of WW1 and then start a new life with four children in Imperial India. You can connect with her on her website and Facebook.
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.