Lies, polaroids and taping the Top 40 – how we connected with Kerry Fisher’s brilliant new novel

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I’m an unashamed child of the late 70s and early 80s, when Arctic Roll passed for a sophisticated dessert and you could lose your car keys for a week in the depths of the new shag pile carpet. I remember one birthday, when I was about seven or eight, being given the two things at the top of my wish list – a pogo stick and a Polaroid camera. I never did manage to pogo more than about twice in a row, but the Polaroid camera? Now that was nothing short of a miracle. Within moments – and some vigorous shaking that would give a Jane Fonda workout a run for its money – you had a passable instant image. I remember my dad saying “what will they think of next?”, if only he’d known! Those growing up now can’t move without taking a selfie (from 23 different angles, until they get it right) and posting the ‘wrong’ photo online carries with it the risk of going viral. In 2016 teenagers have their phones permanently attached to them, so almost nothing is safe from being caught on camera.

The WRs – many of whom were children in a similar era to me – were reminiscing this week about the tall tales our parents told in an attempt to protect us, and the fibs we told them in response, hoping to get away with pulling a fast one in an era before cameras came with us everywhere to capture every momentAAA Polaroid Camera.

Jessica confessed to being a secret Easter egg rustler – munching not just hers, but her brother’s Easter eggs before she was supposed to. Smoothing out the foil in the packaging afterwards to give the illusion the eggs remained untouched. Jessica was also warned that, if she played on a local building site, the police would cart her off. When her poor Easter-egg-deprived brother decided to test out his parents’ theory, he just got a polite warning from the boys in blue, but that didn’t stop his sister blackmailing him for sweets for some time to come, it order to keep schtum.

AAA nailbitingHelen R was told that if she bit her fingernails, she’d end up with a ‘manly’ fingernail like her aunt! We have to say that made all the WRs smile.

Lynne was told that if she didn’t eat her greens, she’d never get hairs on her chest. Unsurprisingly, that did little to convince her to tuck in…

Then there were the usual stories about eating carrots helping you to see in the dark and the warning that your face would stay like that if the wind changed. I remember one instance, when my mum had just finished wallpapering the tricky hallway and landing, only for me to accidently tear a bit of the new wallpaper off when I was dashing down the stairs. She asked my sister first and then me, if either of us had done it. We both denied it of course. My mum, wannabe Columbo that she was, told us it was fine and that she’d soon find out who the culprit was, because their tongue would turn black from lying. Cue me, running around hysterically, pulling out my tongue to see if was already too late! Put it this way, in the end, it didn’t take Columbo to work out who the guilty party was.

All of this explains why I loved reading Kerry Fisher’s ‘After The Lie’ so much and connected with Lydia from the prologue, where she was busy trying to tape the Top 40 off the radio, without the DJ butting in. My kids and their Apple Music downloads don’t know they are born. ‘After The Lie’ reveals the dangers a family’s secrets can risk, even in an era when going viral meant a bout of flu and the internet wasn’t even the stuff of science fiction movies. The novel moves from the prologue in the 80s to the present day, but the events of years before are still taking their toll on Lydia’s life:

Something happened in Lydia’s past that has shaped her whole life. Especially as her mother doesn’t given her a second to forget what the incident meant for the whole family. StillAAA After the Lie Lydia manages to put it behind her, or at least to shut it up tightly in a metaphorical box, until her past suddenly collides with her present in a way she could never have envisaged.

I loved both of Kerry Fisher’s earlier novels, ‘The School Gate Survival Guide’ and ‘The Island Escape’, but for me ‘After the Lie’ has hit a new high. As a forty something year old, I’m past the stage where I want to read about the search for ‘Mr Right’. I want to read something I can relate to and ‘After The Lie’ definitely gave me that.

This novel is beautifully written and even the most minor characters have an important role to play. ‘After the Lie’ has you rooting for Lydia, even when you want to shout at her not to do what she’s about to do. It’s believable, relatable and oh so real. This novel’s for readers who know that there’s so much more to life than a happy ever after and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

‘After The Lie’ is currently available on Amazon for just 99p. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and, in the meantime, we’d love to hear about those little white lies you told growing up, or the ones your parents told you.

Have a great week

Jo xx

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12 thoughts on “Lies, polaroids and taping the Top 40 – how we connected with Kerry Fisher’s brilliant new novel

  1. Its fun remembering the old times, I was grown up in the 70’s and remember going out for a meal meant prawn cocktail, steak & chips, black forest gateau all washed down with Blue Nun wine!!! The rebel in me still wants to serve that!! xx

  2. Thanks for this! You are a lovely supportive bunch. I remember sitting outside the pub with a Vimto and packet of crisps with the salt in a blue sachet, and having to amuse myself with my brother without a phone *horrors*

  3. What a fabulous post. My mum used to say those same things to me. As a child I used to think that going to a Berni Inn for steak and chips was the height of sophistication! And memories of trying to record favourite songs from the radio onto cassettes …..

    • Hi Karen. Thanks for commenting and I’m really glad you enjoyed reading the post 🙂 I remember the Berni Inn too and it was reserved for special celebratory nights out, but my dad would always embarrass us by gleaning the waitress or waiter’s first name from their name-tag and using it repeatedly, as if he knew them. For some reason my sister and I found it almost unbearable! Jo

  4. Congratulations Kerry! It sounds like a fantastic story and one many of us will be able to relate to, at least as far as the eighties go!
    Gosh, I remember those little blue sachets of salt in the crisps!
    Looking forward to reading your book.
    Helen J Rolfe x

  5. Polaroid cameras – ooh yes we had one, and a miracle it was, until you got the photos out months later to find they were fading fast! Great post. Look forward to the book Kerry.

  6. Great post, Jo. Ooh I do like to reminisce about growing up in the 70s/80s when life was so much simpler … or so it seemed. Congratulations on the launch, Kerry. Sounds fabulous. Have just done a sneaky purchase for my Kindle and look forward to reading it soon xx

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