Published in 2021 by Simon & Schuster UK, I finally got to read Lives Like Mine by Eva Verde as it came to the top of my TBR!
This is an intense and emotional story about Monica, a married 30 something who is coming to terms with her true self, a person she seems to still be discovering and coming to terms with. The reader follows the turmoil, trials and tribulations she faces day to day.
Within the scope of identity, infidelity, a questionable marriage, and her racist, yet in my opinion, ignorant, in-laws, there is a lot to this book when you dig deep into the social issues surrounding the narrative.
I think it’s always a risk for writers to make their lead character unlikeable. Monica certainly had me shouting at her through the pages and wondering why she would do certain things. But Verde writes her lead in such a way that sympathy and understanding just have to be evoked.
Admittedly, I found it hard to get into the writing style but very quickly I latched on to a language that was certainly fresh and different and the book itself was so worth my while. It’s a story about truth and honesty. It’s a fulfilling read and one that leaves me thinking about the plot and the characters long after the last page.
I would certainly recommend that you get this one onto your list if you like raw truth, from the heart writing and a down to earth good story to get your teeth into.
Mother. To three small children, their heritage dual like hers. Daughter. To a mother who immigrated to make a better life but has been rejected by her chosen country. Wife. To a man who loves her but who will not defend her to his intolerant family. Woman… Whose roles now define her and trap her in a life she no longer recognises… Meet Monica, the flawed heroine at the heart of LIVES LIKE MINE. With her three children in school, Monica finds herself wondering if this is all there is. Despite all the effort and the smiles, in the mirror she sees a woman hollowed out from putting everyone else first, tolerating her in-laws’ intolerance, and wondering if she has a right to complain when she’s living the life that she has created for herself. Then along comes Joe, a catalyst for change in the guise of a flirtatious parent on the school run. Though the sudden spark of their affair is hedonistic and oh so cathartic, Joe soon offers a friendship that shows Monica how to resurrect and honour the parts of her identity that she has long suppressed. He is able to do for Monica what Dan has never managed to, enabling her both to face up to a past of guilty secrets and family estrangements, and to redefine her future.