Saturday, 4 July 2015

Book Review - Something To Hide by Deborah Moggach - Paperback Summer

Amazon UK

Title: Something To Hide
Author: Deborah Moggach
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Goodreads / Firstreads
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Publication Date: 2nd July 2015
Rating: 4.5

‘ Nobody in the world knows our secret... that I’ve ruined Bev's life, and she's ruined mine.’

Petra’s romantic life has always been a car-crash, and even in her sixties she’s still capable of getting it disastrously wrong. But then she falls in love with Jeremy, an old chum, visiting from abroad. The fatal catch? Jeremy is her best friend’s husband.

But just as Petra is beginning to relax into her happy ever after, she finds herself catapulted to West Africa, and to Bev, her best friend who she’s been betraying so spectacularly. Meanwhile, on opposite sides of the world, two other women are also struggling with the weight of betrayal: Texan Lorrie is about embark on the biggest deception of her life, and in China Li-Jing is trying to understand exactly what it is her husband does on his West African business trips. . .

It turns out that no matter where you are in the world, everyone has something to hide. Can Bev – can anyone – be trusted?

Something To Hide is a simply brilliant story, or set of stories. There are four main story lines that connect up, and the running theme of them all is secrets between loved ones, be it friends or partners. However there is one real main storyline that is the main focus of the book. 

This is the friendship between Petra and Bev, a long standing friendship between a pair of mature women. Petra lives in Pimlico, England, and is lonely. Her children are all grown up and live abroad, and her latest man was not to be trusted. Bev lives in West Africa with husband Jeremy, and sends cheery round-robin emails to all her friends regularly, letting them know what a great life they are leading. However things aren't always what they seem on the surface. 

Jeremy is back in London for a few days and meets up with Petra, and they spend the time catching up on old times, and generally enjoying each other company, and then the unthinkable happens, and they betray Bev. 

Interspersed with this story, you meet Lorrie in Texas, attempting to hide a foolish mistake she has made, with what could turn out to be a larger mistake. And then there are a few chapters from Li-Jing in China, who has no idea what her husband does on his trips to West Africa, and all she wants is a baby.

The book moves between the various stories and locations, and the header for each chapter is a simple location, to give the reader an idea of whose point of view we are now reading about. All the locations were really different, and it was fascinating reading about life in West Africa, although I feel the prologue gave the best feel for the town in West Africa where a lot of the action was set. 

Li-Jing's story although seemingly shorter than the rest, as she doesn't feature that, is interesting as she was a young Chinese girl, plucked from poverty to marry her rich husband, and she becomes isolated. I would have loved more depth about her, as I thought it could have been fleshed out a lot more. 

Something to Hide is a fantastic book, I loved the various settings for the book, and I really enjoyed reading about the different characters. There are a whole bunch of bigger issues that are touched upon in this book, but I would have loved more depth on them all. 

This is only the second book I have read by Deborah Moggach, but I feel that I will certainly be looking into her back catalogue, to see what else this talented author has written. 

Thanks to Goodreads & Firstreads  for this advance copy. This was my honest review. 


  1. I read this book a few weeks ago and had a similar point of view. I liked the stories of Lorrie and Li-Jing just as much it was just a shame they didn't get as much page time!

    1. Thank you Francesca, its good to know I'm not the only one that feels like that. I would have loved to see more both Lorrie and Li-Jing.


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