'No one's life is perfect, and everyone's family has skeletons, but you can't choose your bloodline. Learning about what other's face throughout their life and meeting those stories with compassion and empathy is a choice.
Barrie writes a riveting literary story where readers will find a deep-rooted sense of relativism. Lisa is such a compelling protagonist, and one that will be unforgettable in this tale of love, loss, and revival.
Lisa starts off by introducing the story she is writing, about a narcissistic mother and altruist daughter. Growing up with Elizabeth was a torrential disaster, but at least Lisa had her father and the hired help, Nellie and Jim. Until the ripe age of seven, then her father disappeared to Portugal and her mother spun every lie she could to break Lisa's confidence in her father ever reaching out to her.
After Elizabeth remarried, Lisa discovered she shared her passion of books with Arthur, A.K.A the best stepfather a girl could ever have. After finding the truth hidden in Elizabeth's private cupboards about her father and his many attempts to contact her throughout the years, Lisa vows she can never forgive her mother, but by doing so, she doesn't realize this could be setting herself up for a lonely life, devoid of love and the very happiness she searches for.
Forty years later, waking up one day and realizing all the regrets she's made over the years, what can she do to start living and rid herself of the past once and for all? Can she mend the fences she's broken? Just Say is a beautifully written literary fiction with well-developed characters, originality, and creativity. The pace remains solid and readers will find the story easy to read, while remaining elegant and emotionally charged. One of the elements that animates this story is the way these characters are drastically flawed, but steadily searching for their own happiness. It is invigorating and readers won't be able to get enough. It is real and provides a rooted conviction of how abuse transcends the span of time and the capability of one's self to promote change against conformity. If you are a reader of literary and psychological fiction, you may want to grab this one up.'
Lauren Jones, 30th August 2021.