Would I Lie to You?

by Aliya Ali-Afzal

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Relationship Stories Family Drama Debut Books of the Month Humorous fiction Literary Fiction Feel-Good Fiction Sharing Diverse Voices

LoveReading Expert Review of Would I Lie to You?

An engaging, entertaining, smart, and ultimately feel-good novel with huge emotional integrity and balance.

Amusing yet poignant, uplifting yet sharply pointed, this is a very contemporary look at a woman spiralling out of control in an effort to keep up appearances. When Tom is made redundant and says the family will have to live off of their savings until he gets a new job, Faiza panics, she has secretly spent all of their money and is determined that Tom won’t find out. Faiza is warm and engaging, I felt as though I was sitting by her side and she was telling me her story. While there were times I winced and was frustrated by her actions, I also cheered her on and if I could, would have given her the hugest of huge hugs. A truly exquisite balance is maintained throughout this novel, Aliya Alif-Afzal writes with wit, perception, and emotional integrity. While sitting as a wonderfully readable and entertaining novel, this is a smart take on some of the problems faced in our society. Would I Lie To You is an engaging and moving debut, it’s also a little bit feisty, I loved it! 

The LoveReading LitFest invited Aliya to the festival to talk about this fabulous debut.

You can view the event by subscribing to the LitFest programme for as little as £6 per month - or you can pay per view. For just £2, go, see Aliya in conversation with Deborah Maclaren and find out why everyone should read this book.

Check out a preview of the event here

Liz Robinson

Would I Lie to You? Synopsis

From fresh new voice Aliya Ali-Afzfal, Would I Lie to You? is a page-turning, warm and funny debut about what happens when you have your dream life - and are about to lose it.

At the school gates, Faiza fits in. It took a few years, but now the snobbish mothers who mistook her for the nanny treat her as one of their own. She's learned to crack their subtle codes, speak their language of handbags and haircuts and discreet silver watches. You'd never guess, at the glamorous kids' parties and the leisurely coffee mornings, that Faiza's childhood was spent following her parents round the Tooting Cash'n'Carry.

When her husband Tom loses his job in finance, he stays calm. Something will come along, and in the meantime, they can live off their savings. But Faiza starts to unravel. Raising the perfect family comes at a cost - and the money Tom put aside has gone. When Tom's redundancy package ends, Faiza will have to tell him she's spent it all.

Unless she doesn't...

It only takes a second to lie to Tom. Now Faiza has six weeks to find GBP75,000 before her lie spirals out of control. If anyone can do it, Faiza can: she's had to fight for what she has, and she'll fight to keep it. But as the clock ticks down, and Faiza desperately tries to put things right, she has to ask herself: how much more should she sacrifice to protect her family?

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Would I Lie to You? Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

Entertaining, amusing and touching

Would I Lie To You is entertaining, amusing and touching. The concept of a spendthrift wife wasting a couple’s hard earned savings may not be hugely original but the context of the story involving a multicultural marriage and Faiza’s attempts to cover up her insecurities by fitting in with the rich crowd make for an enjoyable tale. I thought that the author tried to tackle a lot of different elements in this book and that at times it led to superficial stereotyping, eg, of people who work in the City. I also found the ending a bit unconvincing. But it’s a good read and one for people who like a more thoughtful approach to the chick lit genre.

Annie Day

Unexpectedly stressful, but I really enjoyed it.

Fazia seems to have the perfect life: happy marriage, beautiful kids, nice house. Scratch the surface and things aren't quite as good as they seem though. Desperate to fit in with the lifestyle of her wealthy friends, Fazia has unintentionally splashed the cash that was supposed to be saved for emergencies. When her husband loses his job and the emergency fund becomes paramount, Fazia realises she needs to act quickly to save her home, her life and her marriage.

Honestly, I've never been so tense reading a book. At times I felt really sorry for Fazia, even though her attitude did sometimes frustrate me. It just felt like everything she did went wrong or made things worse. I actually thought I'd dislike her after the initial chapters but she is written with such warmth and I really believed in how much she loved her family and friends so I couldn't help but root for her. At times, it was a genuinely stressful read, I just couldn't see how she was going to fix things, but I really enjoyed it.

Nikki Whitmore

A page-turning domestic drama about what it takes to make the perfect life…….and keep it.

Faiza has worked hard to fit into the yummy-mummy set in Wimbledon village. With her banker husband, three children at private schools and a life revolving around coffee mornings, kids’ parties and charity auctions, she finally feels like she belongs. It is all a far cry from her more humble beginnings but blending in has come at a price – namely the family’s emergency savings - and when her husband Tom loses his job, her perfect life starts to unravel. Fearing Tom’s anger about her lavish spending, Faiza lies, believing that she can replenish the money and meet their financial commitments without Tom ever realising anything was wrong. But as her deceit spirals out of control, Tom, her family, her children and her friends all begin to suffer from the consequences of her actions.

Aliya Ali-Afzal’s debut novel is a page-turning domestic drama with a raft of moral dilemmas. Part of the ‘sandwich’ generation, Faiza has become adept at juggling ageing parents and young children – all whilst fitting the mould of the perfect mother. Despite her extravagance, she’s had to fight harder than most to reach her exhalted position – not least enduring  regularly casual, and often overt racism at the school gates. Faiza is strong, capable and resourceful and  it is possible to like and admire her determination to hang on to her lifestyle without condoning her methods. Whether this is familiar or alien territory to the reader the universal themes of family, friendships, work and money are something everyone can relate to. A warm, fresh, funny and compelling read.

Clare Wilkins

A great fast paced debut novel that with an addictive plot that will keep you turning the pages!!

Would I Lie To You? is a book that I wouldn’t normally choose to pick up, but when I read to description I know I had to pick it up, I’m glad to say it didn’t disappoint.

This is a debut novel that follows Fazia a British Pakistani who is married to Tom (a white man), together they have 3 children. Faiza is so desperate to fit in with the elite mums at school, and the cost of doing so doesn’t matter. Faiza has been dipping into the family emergency savings to keep up, which isn’t an issue until her husband Tom loses his job, and money becomes so tight and they have to use the emergency savings. But the problem is Fazia has used up all the savings. She tries to hide this fact from Tom and things just spiral out of control.

This is a well written book with a complex yet easy to follow plot. It’s fast paced and keeps up with the story, which I loved as it keeps your attention from start to finish. There are plenty of plot twists to keep you guessing as to how things will pan out for Fazia, some twists were easier to see coming than others but even then I wasn’t disappointed. I really like the way the author has incorporated lot’s of important topics into the book while not making them the main part of the storyline, but still making readers aware of their importance in the story. Some of these topics maybe triggering to some readers, so please do check them out at the end before picking this book up.

I thought the characters were very well done, I wasn’t too sure about Fazia the main character at times as I found her decisions and actions to be quite frustrating, but as I read on I warmed to her and found it hard not to feel sorry for her as she was only trying to project her family and you do discover why she did what she did.

To sum it sum this was a great debut novel and will without a doubt be looking out for more from this author in the future. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fast paced contemporary slash women’s fiction.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Sexual assault, suicide, racism, debt, redundancy, mental health

Manisha

Faiza does her best to keep up with her peers by spending her husband's emergency fund. Nobody would ever have known until her husband loses his job and needs the money. Faiza needs to find a way to replace the money before he realises that it has gone.

Faiza is "different" and she wants to fit in. She spends her husband's savings on household furnishings, beauty treatments and clothes so that she is "accepted" by her peers. Then her husband Tom loses his job. He thinks he has an emergency fund to fall back on. Faiza is too scared to tell him that the money is all gone so she has to find a way to replace it before he finds out. She finds a job and they have a role reversal, leaving Tom at home to run the house and care for the three children. Along the way the cracks begin to appear and Faiza's lie becomes more elaborate. We find out who Faiza's real friends are and Faiza begins to learn what is important in life.

There is a strong theme of racism running through the story, you feel sympathy for Faiza and in spite of all her wrongs you want her to succeed. She shows us what a strong, resourceful woman she is. The biggest moral of the story is that money doesn't buy happiness.

I felt quite a sense of anxiety at times as I read the book. The story is based in London, far removed from my own lifestyle, and the sums of money were beyond my comprehension. The stresses of working in that environment were evident.

Faiza has a very bumpy ride but she learns a lot about herself along the way.

Dawn Vanstone

A funny, page turner of a book. It does, however, touch on some difficult themes such as suicide and racism.

I found Would I Lie To You to be an enjoyable novel. It had me gripped pretty early on. It tells the tale of the privileged Fazia and her family. Fazia’s husband, Tom loses his job in finance, but isn’t too concerned, believing they can live off their savings. Fazia, unfortunately, keeps spending at the same pace as when he had a significant salary. The result is that she spends all their savings and Tom’s redundancy package. Difficulties arise when she doesn’t admit what has happened.

The novel is full of twists and turns. Tension is expertly created within its pages. I cringed with embarrassment at times and at others laughed out aloud. You really do feel the anxieties of the central character. A clever book, which isn’t as light as it first appeared to be. It touches on important themes: suicide, debt, racial prejudice. A great read, which I would definitely recommend.

Rachael Anderson

Aliya Ali-Afzal Press Reviews

'An uplifting and joyous read ... A refreshing new voice in commercial fiction' - Cosmopolitan

'Warm, intelligent ... and keeps up the tension right till the end' Sophie Kinsella

'Convincing and compelling' Stacey Halls

'The writing is so fresh and light; funny in places, but moving in others ... I'll be recommending it to everyone I know' Sarah Pearse

'I really enjoyed Would I Lie to You ... A fresh take on domestic dynamics and moral dilemma ... Great for book clubs' Clare Mackintosh

'So warm, funny, sad and brilliantly written' Laura Marshall

'Not just entertaining, but intelligent and original too ... and the resourceful Faiza will steal your heart' Lesley Kara

'A warm, funny, compelling, escapist read' Debbie Howells

'Tense, funny, poignant and very clever' Claire Douglas

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781800245686
Publication date: 06/01/2022
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781800245662
Publication date: 08/07/2021
Format: Hardback

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About Aliya Ali-Afzal

Aliya Ali-Afzal has a degree in Russian and German from UCL and worked as an Executive MBA Career Coach in London. While helping her clients to pursue their dream lives and careers, she decided to take her own advice and become a writer. She is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, is an alum of Curtis Brown Creative, and has had her writing longlisted for the Bath Novel Award, the Mslexia Novel Competition, the Mo Siewcharran Prize, and the Primadonna Prize. Aliya has lived in London all her life since moving there from Pakistan as a ...

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