26 June 2023



By Lesley Pearse


Eve is a battered wife who lives in constant fear of her violent husband Don. She eventually finds the courage to leave him, taking their two children, Olly and Tabitha, with her. In due course she gains the legal right to return to the marital home with her kids. Don now lives elsewhere with his new girlfriend. However, Eve hasn't seen the last of him. He keeps retuning to his garden shed in the dead of night to sleep off a drunken stupor. Eve finally snaps and makes a terrible decision that has repercussions for everyone.

This book was a welcome change from my usual genre and I was pleasantly surprised. Just be warned though — it deals with domestic abuse and grooming which may be triggering for some readers. I thought the characters were engaging and fully developed. I was rooting for Eve all the way through; hoping she'd put the past behind her to start a new and prosperous life in Devon. How wrong was I?! The past always finds a way of creeping into the present.

My one criticism would be the slightly stilted dialogue. The children sometimes used words I would consider too advanced for their ages. Also, the flow of conversation between the characters didn't always seem natural. Setting that aside, the plot was very good and the pacing spot on. I genuinely felt the author used sensitivity and empathy to deal with some very tough topics. 

My thanks to Michael Joseph publishers for providing a proof copy of this book.       


  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph
  • Publication Year: 2023
  • Author: Lesley Pearse
  • Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction


Eve should never have married Don Hathaway. Yes, he gave her two beautiful children - Olly and Tabitha - but he is a bully.

Worse than that, he hurts her.

But, after one drunken rage too many, she has the courage to leave him. Eve is warned that it's a difficult path, yet she needs to give her children hope for the future.

Don, however, is bitter. And getting away entirely from him proves impossible.

Until the day, Eve tries to teach him a lesson - and it all goes horribly wrong.

Eve loves her children but now she carries a terrible burden that she dares not share. Has she betrayed her and her children's futures?

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