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When I read the synopsis of this book, I noticed that one of the characters is a talking cat and immediately worried that it might be rather a cutesy book. I was completely wrong – a cat who is prepared to discuss Kant, Sartre and Hegel would surely be offended by being called cutesy. LA based stay-at-home Mum Livi becomes best friends with fellow mum Jamie, but over time their friendship deepens into love and eventually into a sexual relationship. Although both remain married, the relationship lasts for 20 years but Livi’s insecurity, stemming from childhood, and possessiveness coupled with Jamie’s chaotic personality and unusual interpretations of the truth mean that it is often tempestuous. However the final break eventually happens and, with her husband working away from home, Livi packs up her laptop and her cats and heads back to her home town in Mississippi to lick her wounds and write her book. (THIS book? I kept wondering whether it was autobiographical.) The book is packed with well-written characters. Even though the two main characters are women I don’t think I would want as friends, their personalities come over very clearly making it easy to understand why they fall in love and yet set sparks flying from each other. Siggy the cat is an absolute star, but my absolute favourite character is bar-dwelling ageing rocker Mabel, who moved me to both laughter and tears. My only reservation about this book is the amount of philosophical discussion in it, caused by Livi’s tendency to over-analyse every action and look for motives where there are none. Not having studied philosophy myself, I found a few of the passages hard to follow. That apart, I loved the book.
Jane Willis, A LoveReading Ambassador
Playful, passionate, and deeply layered, What You Don't See raises the stakes in friendship against the bittersweet backdrop of motherhood and the endlessly entertaining activities of well-heeled women's groups.
The story follows Livi, a spirited, outspoken PR executive, pivoting at thirty to full-time wife and mom. That goes better than imagined, that is, until she gets entangled in a romantic relationship with another mom. But no coming-out party. No new set of indie friends.
At first, Livi's able to defend the relationship, asserting it can all be perfectly normal in a world of well-meaning adults. But her ability to live transparently in this complex web loosens as her girlfriend resists truth, dragging Livi into a world of deceit and subterfuge.
What You Don't See, set in an affluent Southern California neighborhood and a local hangout bar on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is anything but ordinary. There's a talking, know-it-all cat; a large, menacing cockroach; and a host of colorful characters, stirring it up as Livi wrestles with timeless questions of intimacy, friendship, and the yearning for meaningful relationships.
Closing date: 29/02/2020
Publication date: 13/04/2018
Publisher: Tell Me A Story
|Publication date:||13th April 2018|
|Publisher:||Tell Me A Story|
Livi Hallahan believes anything and everything should be out in the open for discussion, and in that, she's a tireless advocate of speaking up. Truth and tact. In her debut novel, "What You Don't See," she takes on typically hushed subject matter and creates an entire world of argumentation around it, presenting multiple views that conflict and struggle with the norm. It's a book club must read. Livi grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast but spent most of her adult life in Los Angeles and Pasadena. Currently, she lives in San Diego. “What You Don’t ...More About Livi Hallahan