Thursday 10 October 2013

Book Review - Web of Lies

Web of Lies – Laura O’Connell

Review by Carol Preston

 Cover blurb      High school sweets Stephanie and Lachlan are torn apart by circumstance, bad decisions and a web of lies, leaving an unknown future for their son, Ryan.  Eight years later they reconnect, but the time apart has changed them. The family had made decisions based on lies and deceit and now must find a way to either reveal the truth or live with their mistakes. On the surface their arrangements seem flawless, but dig deeper, and the truth is not as it appears. Lachlan and Stephanie are forced to confront the consequences of their actions and the entire family is compelled to reveal the truth, find forgiveness, and renew loving one another. But the hardest decision is still to come.

My review

This is a story of how trust can be broken in relationships, even though sometimes motives seem justified, and how difficult it is to rebuild trust afterwards. I think it’s a well thought out set of circumstances and consequences, which many readers will relate to. We all have complicated relationships in our lives, and tough choices.  This is a love story, but not a dreamy, escapist, romantic love story. I appreciated the realism of the knotty path to love which includes mistakes, a high cost, the need for forgiveness and new beginnings.  

A Christian worldview, values and approach to dealing with problems is strongly woven through this story, but it is sensitively and realistically presented and is not too preachy. The dilemma of decisions made before one becomes a Christian, which have implications for later life, is also an issue that many readers will identify with. Because there is a child centrally involved in the story I think the delicacy and impact of the issues are heightened, which makes for a provocative and challenging journey for the reader.

I like that the setting is for the most part an Australian one, and that images of Australian culture and environment are prominent. However, the link with an American setting is effective in giving a sense of connectedness to the rest of the world, and takes away from any impression overseas readers might have, that Australia is remote.  I suspect readers from the other side of the world would get a sense that people downunder are not so different from them, that complicated relationships, Christian struggles and dealing with the past are issues we all have in common.

Laura’s style is easy to read, and while we can usually anticipate a happy ending to novels, how this will be achieved in this story is not easy to predict, and the twists keep the reader turning the pages in anticipation. There were a few parts where I felt the story was slowed down with unnecessary detail, but overall a really satisfying read. This is a story I believe would be interesting and challenging for a book club or group of readers who like to discuss issues and learn from the journeys of fictional but realistic characters.

Web of Lies is available through Amazon in print and kindle editions and through Even Before Publishing

Carol Preston 
Carol lives on the east coast of New South Wales. She is a psychologist and an author of historical novels based on her family ancestry in Australia.


  1. Carol, thanks for your review. I'm slightly biased in my opinion of this book because I had the pleasure of watching the story evolve :) Web of Lies is definitely a love story rather than a romance, with complex family relationships and lots of twists to keep the reading guessing until the end.

  2. Yes, Narelle. I do like stories that are about love in it's deeper and more complex forms, rather than a simple romance.

  3. Thanks Carol for the review. I enjoyed Web of Lies too.


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