Everlasting Lies: An intriguing novel.
Author Barbara Warren has created a novel that will captivate you — and leave you wanting to hear more from her. Set in the early part of the twentieth century, the book takes us through the life of one man and his family as events take him from the north of England, to the horrors of France in the First World War and eventually to an exotic lifestyle in India.
Charles disowns his parents and siblings when still a young man; in fact, Charles isn’t really his name. Having cut himself of from his wealthy family he creates a completely new identity for himself. And in this new life, he soon meets the woman (or girl rather, she is only fourteen) of his dreams and their relationship soon develops.
Edina, though only young, is completely willing to embark upon a sexual relationship with young Charles who is lodging with her family and, almost inevitably, she becomes pregnant.
What she doesn’t realise is that Charles has a distinct dark side. Although he agrees to marry Edina, she discovers that he has a totally controlling personality, he is extremely vengeful and treats his now-wife as his slave. What’s more, he often frequents prostitutes.
When the First World War started in 1914 Charles enlisted – more to escape his boring job and his wife who now has two children. Edina, left to make a life for herself and her son and daughter, rekindled a relationship with Bill, a man she has known since they were both children.
Charles heads out to France and when he returns on leave, he is surprised that his downtrodden wife is eager to make love. He does not realise that she is already a month pregnant by Bill…
Potentially explosive situation
Edina persuades Charles that he is the father of her third child but she desperately wants to get away from Charles to start a new life with Bill but Charles refuses to divorce her. He says that if she runs away he will hunt her down and make her pay. What will she do?
A new life in India?
Charles is sent to India after the war and lands a good job there. He wants Edina and the children to join him in his new life. Will she return to her domineering husband or remain with her beloved Bill? And if she chooses the latter, how will Charles exact his revenge?
A new family saga to come?
Read this book and you’ll really get to know these well-created characters and care about what happens to them in the future. (Even the despicable Charles). The story of Charles and Edina ends in 1920 and I sincerely hope that Barbara Warren is already writing a sequel – this is a family saga in the making. More please Ms Warren!
A fictional family history
An added bonus to this novel is its background. Ms Warren based the saga on mysterious elements in her own family history. Names have not been changed for the novel – Charles was her secretive grandfather who never spoke about his background other than to say that he had disowned his wealthy family.
As she says herself ‘maybe somebody will know the whole truth’. If so, I hope this too becomes an equally fascinating truth. I highly recommend this novel.
I rarely read a book without being critical and with this I have just one. Ms Warren was born and brought up in England but left for Canada in her early twenties. As someone who was born and brought up in the North of England, there are some language / dialect errors. But what a minor criticism from a pedantic northerner! This will certainly not prevent you from enjoying this book.
P.S. I hope someone buys the film rights – this novel would make a fabulous movie 🙂
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.
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.
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.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook
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September 15, 2016
Sounds like a very good book. Now on my list! Thanks Jaquo.