Cover Image: A Mother's Lie

A Mother's Lie

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

EXCERPT: Ali reached into the bag and pulled out a tiny onesie in a soft, buttery yellow. Her heart shifted, and she met Meg's eyes. Meg was watching her with a smile. 'I know,' she said quietly. 'It's hard to believe, isn't it? That the baby inside of you now, will one day - soon! - be in your arms.' She reached out to touch Ali's arm. 'You'll be her mother, her whole world. You'll do anything for her.' She smiled. 'It's wonderful, really.'

Ali nodded again, a moment of understanding swirling around them. Meg was right. Ali would do anything to keep her baby safe, away from anyone who might harm her. Wasn't that the very reason she'd come here? In the midst of this turmoil, her daughter was the most important thing. This pregnancy was special, and no one should ruin that - nothing should ruin that. If Ali focused solely on her baby, she didn't have to let even one day be darkened by fear or uncertainty.

'Thank you,' she said, then turned and went into the night, clutching the yellow onesie like a guiding light.

ABOUT 'A MOTHER'S LIE': My darling child… all I’ve ever yearned for. But how do I keep you safe?

When Ali retreats to her seaside cottage, all she wants is to be alone. To reconnect with a place that has always felt like home until her baby is born.

But then her life collides with the people living in the house next door, Michael and Meg, and she is immediately welcomed into their perfect life with their beautiful baby Jem. As they help her prepare for her own arrival, Ali knows she has made the right choice for her baby in returning to Seashine Cottage.

When Michael leaves suddenly for a work trip, and Meg impulsively invites Ali to move in, it becomes clear things aren’t as perfect as they first seemed.

Meg is holding on to a dark secret. And as her behaviour becomes ever more erratic – leaning on Ali for increasing amounts of help – while Michael shows no signs of returning, Ali begins to worry.

Does she need to protect herself and her unborn child from the new friend she thought would help keep her safe? And what about her own devastating secret… the one she’s been running from?

This book was previously titled 'Safe From Harm'.

MY THOUGHTS: It took me a week to read A Mother's Lie by Leah Mercer. I found it difficult to relate to the characters of Ali and Meg, even after the revelations. Ali's and Meg's stories were dramatic, but almost soap-operaish.

The most interesting facet of this book for me was Violet's story, which both intrigued me, and broke my heart. Violet seemed very real to me, more so than Meg or Ali.

The story is told over two timelines: in the present by Ali, and 2018 from Violet's perspective, her past being recalled in memories.

I'm sorry I didn't like A Mother's Lie so much, particularly as I loved Leah Mercer's last offering, Ten Little Words.

I don't recommend reading this book if you are pregnant.


#AMothersLie #NetGalley

I: @leahmercerauthor @bookouture

T: @LeahMercerBooks @Bookouture

#contemporaryfiction #crime #familydrama #domesticdrama #mentalhealth

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Leah can't remember a time when she didn't love writing. From creating fake newspapers to writing letters to the editor, scribbling something was always on the agenda. Even the rejections she received after completing her first novel at age 13 didn't dent her enthusiasm.

So it makes sense, then, that she pursued a career in anything but writing. Public relations, teaching, recruitment, editing medical journals -- even a stint painting houses -- until she finally succumbed once more to the lure of the blank page.

When she's not being jumped on by her young son or burning supper while thinking of plot-lines, Leah can be found furiously tapping away on her laptop, trying not to check Twitter or Facebook.

Leah also writes romantic comedies under the name Talli Roland.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of A Mother's Lie by Leah Mercer for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage
Was this review helpful?
Quite an emotional story filled with secrets about 3 women in different timelines – Violet, Ali, and Meg – all trying to survive within the paradigm of their hurt.

My second book by author Leah Mercer, I loved how the friendships developed between them. But they also had a barrier of their lies. I liked how the pages slowly revealed the truth.

Few things I suspected, few were shockers. I loved the women, life happened to all of them. Amongst them, I would have liked Ali to be more forgiving and stronger. That would have connected me more to her. Children come first, not personal issues. But she got there at the end.

The last few pages brought a lump to my throat as I got to know the realities of their lives. The book had a bit of everything, drama, mystery, deep emotions, and a mother’s love for her child. A good, heartwarming read.
Was this review helpful?
Wow, what a totally gripping read this book is!

Right from the start I had a feeling of menace. The isolated location, the wild seascape and the strange goings-on all add up to a really tense atmosphere.

The story is told mostly from Ali’s perspective, but with occasional chapters from Violet, her grandmother. All the pieces begin to come together to give us a picture of what has happened in the past, and what might be brewing in the present day.

I must say though, nothing in this book was as I predicted. All of my theories about the characters and they secrets that they were hiding were completely wrong.

The pace is perfect, slow enough to build the tension, but fast enough to hold the reader’s attention. I absolutely could not put this book down.

A suspenseful and compelling read, it’s also a touching and thought-provoking story, and beautifully written. Very highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
This heart string pulling story is predominantly narrated from the perspective of Abi who is pregnant with her and her husband Jon's first child. Being pregnant is difficult enough at the best of times what it having to cope with the raging hormones, emotional turmoil and aches and pains that you experience in the later stages of the pregnancy without having the added issue of harbouring a life changing secret. After her grandmother Violet dies and bequeaths Ali her tumble down cottage by the coast, Ali grabs the opportunity to escape from London to he place where she has so many happy memories from when she was a child, clear her head and make plans for the future. All she wants is to be alone but after a encounter with the couple who lived next door Meg and Michael and their adorable baby Jem, Ali finds herself drawn into the lives of the seemingly perfect family. Then after Michael mysteriously disappears, Meg asks Ali if she would like to move into their lavish home for the duration of her pregnancy and Ali jumps at the opportunity to spend more time with her new friend, someone she trusts and feels safe with. But,as time passes, Meg's demeanour and behaviour started to change and there is no sign of Michael returning, Ali begins to wonder if she has made a mistake. In placing her trust in someone she hardly knows, has she in reality put the lives of both her and her unborn child in serious danger?

Ali was a emotional mess which was totally understandable when you took her backstory into consideration but despite admiring how much she loves her unborn baby and her determination to help Meg and Jem, I also thought she was a rather irritating individual for various reasons. It's difficult to say too much about her relationship with Jon without giving away spoilers but I will say that I did feel some sympathy for the poor bloke who obviously loved Ali. Yes, he could have explained how he felt a bit better but I thought Ali's reaction and subsequent behaviour was a bit extreme, cruel and a little bit selfish. Why was she so prepared to cut the people who genuinely cared about her out of her life and so quick to place her trust and safety in the hands of complete strangers?

It was obvious from quite soon after they were introduced into the story that Meg and Michael's relationship wasn't as perfect as it appeared to be and the more time that Ali spent in their home, the more dark and sinister truths came to light. Did Michael have genuine concerns about baby Jem's safety when she was alone with her mother? Why had Meg's demeanour and behaviour suddenly become so erratic and seemingly out of control since Michael's disappearance? Were Meg and Michael the loving couple they appeared to be or was one of them hiding a dark side behind a mask of beauty and perfection? 

Interspersed throughout Ali's story was chapters that were set in 2018 and written from the perspective of Ali's grandmother Violet who has spent fifty years hiding away in her isolated cottage. To begin with I didn't think that she was a very likeable individual but as her story unfolded, she slowly began to work her way into my heart and I began to have concerns about her well being and safety.

The Mother's Lie which was originally titled Safe From Harm is a emotionally charged, character driven story of families, relationships, forgiveness, the power of grief and a mother's love for her child. I loved this book's isolated setting, the author's descriptions of the thunder and lightening storm battering the isolated cottage, the beauty and danger of the sea and the way that the sea and the horizon appear to blend together. The story didn't have a large cast of characters but the individuals who did appear were vivid and realistic. It's a story that plays with the reader's emotions and caused me to feel quite teary a couple of times. This is the first book that I have read by this Author and it most definitely will not be my last. I thought this was a very enjoyable read and us very highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
A book that goes back and forward in time telling  Violet and Ali 's stories. How could you not love this story 
Highly recommended
Was this review helpful?
A dual timeline story-grandma and granddaughter.  A little like a Lifetime movie-which I love! Who is telling the truth, who do you trust. How much do you believe? Held my interest until the last page.
Was this review helpful?
To me this was somewhat confusing, but basically still a good read. Story goes back and forth between Ali (in the present) and her grandmother (in the past).
Was this review helpful?
“how far will we go to protect those we love the most?”

When I closed the final page on this heart-breaking story, complete though it was, I just felt as though I wanted to go and hug the one person who means the most to me, and let him know how much I love him!

Right from the very first page of this book, something just didn’t feel right, although I couldn’t have told you what it was. The more I read, the more disturbed my thinking and reasoning became, so convinced was I, that I was losing touch with reality in some way. Imagining things that couldn’t possibly be true, yet not realising how easily I could be deceived and manipulated.

A contemporary, dual timeline story, although only separated by a year, which seemed like a lifetime. Narrated in the voices of Violet and her granddaughter Ali and divided into neat, well signposted, bite-sized chapters, which kept the story fluid and moving forwards, even though at certain moments, time seemed to stand still for an age.

Author Leah Mercer, took me on an intensely desperate and multi-layered journey, which right from the outset I didn’t want to contemplate. Yet it was done with such skilled perception and heartfelt compassionate storytelling, that I never even noticed her guiding hand leading the way. This compelling and gripping storyline, was engineered with total authority, consummate ease and complete confidence in the imagery she could conjure up with her words.

Two women, one cottage, one set of neighbours – Oh! the secrets, the lies, the pain and the burden of guilt. Fear of the unknown and self-loathing, the mental anguish of time, relationships and lives wasted, all laid bare during the course of some beautifully textured observational and descriptive narrative, combined with some excellent and very assured conversational dialogue, which all helped to set the scene and give a real sense of time and place, so that I could imagine myself standing on those windswept clifftops, overlooking a seascape which could be either benign or deadly, at just a moments notice, in the blink of an eye.

A grandmother and granddaughter, separated by a generation, but both faced with the need to find solace and seclusion in this place of isolation, as they contemplate their losses, unimaginable grief, and come to terms with their uncertain futures. Both find themselves embroiled in the lives of their one and only neighbour, a volatile family on the edge and crying out desperately for help, although their pleas remain silent and their only means of being heard may result total destruction for everyone! There were so many twists and turns to this slow burning living hell, that I couldn’t keep up with them all and certainly never saw some of them coming.

Leah created an intimate and animated cast of emotionally complex characters. Raw and passionate, vulnerable and angry, authentic yet constantly searching for that illusive sense of belonging. They were completely unengaging and unrelatable, making it so difficult to empathise with them, although I really felt as though I should and I owed it to them to try. The three women, Violet, Ali and Meg, are definitely stronger than their male counterparts, in that it is easier for them to eventually discover their latent strength and recognise that, having voiced aloud the individual demons they each face, they can move forward stronger.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book.

It throws you into the story about violet and Ali.

Its a story about redemption.

The story flows really well and the characters are fleshed out which makes the story flow very nicely.

From the first chapter I was hooked and read all the way through to the end because I didn't want to stop.

Highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Right from the opening chapter, Leah Mercer’s A Mother’s Lie drew me in like a moth to a flame and I loved it. Emotionally charged, this sure did get the tears flowing. A heartbreaking page turner, this is the first book I have read from Leah and she absolutely has a new fan in me.

They say that a change is as good as a holiday but, is the reverse true? Ali painfully changes her circumstances in an effort to ready herself for the birth of her beautiful baby. However, will things change even more than she expected when she connects with the couple next door and finds herself drawn into their world that is not all that it appears to be on the surface. And how does Ali’s grandmother Violet’s story tie into this tale?

The chapters alternate between Ali in the present and her now departed grandmother Violet 13 months before, who both captured my heart. They felt so real to me, which is a credit to Leah Mercer with how she brings each vividly to life. Both of their stories got under my skin and my tears flowed when their secrets were revealed. Meg is also a fascinating character who’s story had me intrigued and who also crossed paths with Violet before her death.

A Mother’s Lie is a beautifully written and poignant tale and is one I would definitely read again. A wonderful read which will be part of my best books for 2021.

Thank you to Leah Mercer, Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of A Mother’s Lie, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Was this review helpful?
Loving the multiple character viewpoint in A Mother’s Lie. After the first few pages I was hooked on Leah Mercer’s emotional and tense read. It had all the sustenance of a psychological thriller, but with bucketfuls of emotions!

The main character Ali is a strong independent woman who is determined to bring her baby into this world alone. After an argument with her husband over the unborn baby, she packs her bag and heads over to stay in her late grandmother’s run-down cottage.

It’s very smart of the author to run Ali’s late grandmother’s story alongside Ali’s in the same cottage. What do the stories have in common? Neighbours Michael and Meg next door… Who seem like the perfect family with baby Jem, until Michael disappears one night during a storm.

You are really in for a great read with this one. You will be chilled to the bone, gripped, and won’t be able to put it down! PS. Don’t forget your tissues!

A well deserved 5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for my copy
Was this review helpful?
Wow, what a powerful story.  You might need tissues ready as, without giving anything away, A Mother's Lie touches on many emotive subjects.  Totally unputdownable novel
Was this review helpful?

Review for 'A Mother's Lie' by Leah Mercer. Previously titled 'Safe From Harm'. 

Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Leah Mercer, Bookouture publishers and Bookouture anonymous 

Publication date 24th June 2021.

This is the first book I have read by this author. 

I was originally drawn to this book by its  eye catching and gorgeous cover and its intriguing synopsis and title. The synopsis stated that this book is 'Perfect for fans of The Silent Daughter, Diane Chamberlain and Kerry Lonsdale.' I am a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain so am looking forward to seeing if this lives up to this statement. I must admit I was also biased due to the publisher being Bookouture. I have yet to read a book published by Bookouture  that I haven't enjoyed. Hopefully this won't be the first... Watch this space! (Written before I started reading the book).

This novel consists of 43 chapters. The chapters are short to medium in length so possible to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!

This book is based in England, UK 🇬🇧 . I always enjoy when books are partly or fully set in the UK as I'm from Wales and have sometimes visited areas mentioned in the book. This makes it easier to picture where the scenes are set at times. I have in fact visited and gone on holiday in England on many occasions so am looking forward to possibly recognising name places.

This book is written in third person perspective and the main protagonists are Violet and Ali. The benefits of third person perspective with multiple protagonists are that it let's you see the bigger picture of what's going on and you get to know more characters more, what they are thinking and what they are doing. It feels like you get to see the whole picture and not miss out in anything.

'A Mother's Lie' discusses some topics that may trigger some readers or may not be suitable for others. I like to point this out ahead of time in my reviews so you can judge if this book is for you or not. In this book Leah discusses/includes death of a child. 

It is set over/includes multiple time lines. When books show what has happened in the past and what is happening in the present I find it really helps the reader (if it is well done) understand why things are happening and what has lead to the present activities and decisions. It also shows the bigger picture. 

Wow!!! Just absolutely wow!!! What a gripping and addictive emotional read. Clear your schedules before you start this and get the tissues ready!! This book was previously titled 'Safe From Harm' but I definitely think the new title of 'A Mother's Lie' suits it more. The title, cover and synopsis work perfectly with the storyline. 

This book is beautifully written with vivid descriptions that really set the scene and puts the reader in the storyline. The storyline itself is emotionally packed and filled with love, loss, lies , friendship, secrets, tension, suspense and tears. I was absolutely hooked throughout and it is extremely powerful. I was in tears by the end and that is definitely a rarity for me. However, I also think that it ended perfectly and as it should have regardless of how heartbreaking it was. I would have never guessed what was going on and it is teu that you never know what happens behind closed doors and the grass isn't always greener on the other side. 

I was completely invested in Abi's character who was a strong, well defined and realistic character. I always enjoy reading about powerful women and the fact that she had so much going on but just kept on pushing through even at the end shows what a strong woman she was. I wasn't sure what to feel about Meg and Michael throughout and was extremely shocked at the end. Well done Leah as it's getting harder and harder to shock me!!! I also enjoyed reading Violet's story and seeing what happened through her eyes, another heartbreaking story. 

Congratulations Leah on an addictive, successful and powerful page turner. I am looking forward to reading more of your books past and future. Welcome to my top authors list!!! 

Overall a powerful, emotionally charged addictive page turner that will leave you in tears. 

Genres covered in this book include Suspense and Psychological Fiction amongst others. 

I would recommend this book to the fans of the above as well as fans of Diane Chamberlain and anyone looking for a page turner. 

253 pages.

This book is just £1.99 to purchase on kindle via Amazon which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!! 

Rated 5;5 (I LOVED it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook. 

Feel free to add me on Goodreads or follow me on my website or Facebook for more reviews 

#AMothersLie #Bookouture #LeahMercer #NetGalley #BookReview #BlogTour #BooksOnTour
@LeahMercer @Bookouture @Bookworm1986 @bookworm86
Was this review helpful?
Beautiful. Heart rending. A lovely read, brilliantly written. Five solid stars. Very highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
Leah Mercer's A Mother's Lie is about Ali who will do everything to protect her unborn child even leaving her husband who says he doesn't want the baby.  Ali moves into the seaside cottage that her gran, Violet, left her. While there, Ali meets her neighbors, and as she starts to feel safe again, she realizes that this is the place where she will start a new life. Told in both Ali's and Violet's point of view,  A Mother's Lie is a page-turner full of secrets, second chances, and unexpected twists and turns. You will not want to put this book down. Outstanding read!
Was this review helpful?
Ali knew love. She knew joy. She knew contentment. However, Ali's life fell completely apart when her husband Jon coldly told her that he did not want their baby. Ali felt like she was drowning. Being washed away at sea. She feels to keep herself and her baby safe that she must leave, to go to her grandmother's cottage. Maybe after some time apart Jon will change his mind. If not, Ali will make it on her own. 

It is a difficult move to be sure. The cottage is falling apart. It has been at least ten years since Ali set foot in the cottage. But, she has time and she will use the time to make the place as livable, as beautiful, as possible. Her time is made a bit easier when she befriends new neighbors Meg and Michael, especially Meg. They have a beautiful baby girl named Jem and from Ali's point of view they are living an idyllic life.

In a parallel story from a short time before, the story is told from Violet's point of view. Violet was Ali's grandmother and passed away a year ago. Violet lived at the cottage alone and the reasons she has chosen to live at the broken down cottage are those of grief and sadness.

A Mother's Lie is the touching story of three women - Ali, Violet and Meg. Each of them is holding a secret close to their hearts and how these women become tied together is for the reader to see as this story is developed. 

This is a story of friendship and courage. However, it is far more than that. In fact, it touches of a few subjects that are rather deep, but since they are explored later in the story, I don't want to give spoilers. I was fully immersed in this story as the drama each woman was living played out. For an amazing story that will grab the reader and not let go, whether it is due to heartache, pain and sadness that shift to bonds of friendship, strength, courage and hope, then A Mother's Lie the perfect book to read. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
This is a story about love, loss and redemption.  For some of us it is too late while for others it turns on a dime.  Leah Mercer has written a touching story about wishing for what you don't have while it may have been right there the whole time.  It also speaks of generations holding on to secrets that are so harmful.  A really good read!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for this ARC!
Was this review helpful?
Thanks NetGalley, Bookouture and Leah Mercer for a copy to review.
Get prepared for an uneasy emotional heartbreaking ride thought there is a slight Hope at the end of the road.
Ali retreats to her grandmother's seaside cottage to spend her pregnancy months after her husband refused to continue the journey with her, abandoning her and her unborn baby, reminding her of her childhood's issues.
When she ran into what appeared to be the perfect family next doors, she fell in love with the picture perfect family with the supportive husband, the capable mother and the cutest little baby. 
Going between current time Ali and her grandmother's last year in the cottage, we are introduced to a journey of loss, grief, hope and strong determined women.
I absolutely loved it.
Was this review helpful?
I found some of this book confusing with too much going on in some parts. But everything smoothed out and made sense with all the twists and turns. It ended up being a pretty good book with a decent amount of suspense. I would definitely read more from the author!
Was this review helpful?
What a unusual, different storyline.  Somewhat confusing at times.
Safe from Harm is a psychological thriller with so much going on you start to wonder what the heck is going on.
Without giving anything away, I was quite surprised with the ending.
Certainly a story FULL of twists and turns!
Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest opinion.  All opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?