Gilding the Lily
by Justine John
It’s my stop on the “Gilding the Lily” blog tour! Thanks very much to Love Books Tours and author Justine John who have kindly provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
If you’d like to learn more about this book, check out the other blogs on the tour, see what people have to say on Goodreads and head over to the author’s Twitter page. If this sounds like your kind of thing, you’ll find the book on Kindle and paperback on Amazon UK.
A gripping mystery of jealousy, murder and lies.
An invitation to her estranged, wealthy father’s surprise 75th birthday party in New York sees Amelia and her husband, Jack, set off across the pond to meet a whole new world of family politics.
Amelia, now a successful businesswoman, feels guilty about never liking her father’s women, so does her upmost to give his new socialite partner, Evelyn, the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could just all get along? But there’s something very dark, determined and dangerous about her…
When Amelia’s father, Roger, becomes ill, Jack grows suspicious that there is more to it. Amelia understands why, but no one else will believe them. They travel back to America to piece together the puzzle, but when Roger goes missing, the couple are driven to their wits’ end. It takes a DEA officer and a secret assassin to bring them answers, but the ruthless truth is something no one expected…
I went into this book with no expectations and I didn’t even read the blurb so I was really pleased to find that “Gilding the Lily” is, in fact, a story full of lies, mystery and a whole lot of bitchiness. I’m actually really glad that I didn’t read the blurb in advance, as it’s quite detailed and contains quite a lot of spoilers!
Imagine the situation: you fall out with your father when your parents break up and then you get a new step-mother who hates you. When your step-mother dies, you start to re-build a relationship with your father, only for him to announce that he’s dating again.
That’s what happened for Amelia Jones who I believe is now somewhere in her 30s or 40s. She and her husband Jack are invited to her father’s birthday party by this new woman and they are determined to make an effort this time round. The new woman, Evelyn, is an interesting lady and she clearly knows what she wants in life, with no problem stepping on toes to get it. I’m certainly not envious of Amelia!
Told over a period of three years, the rest of this story is a steadily paced family drama full of squabbles, fights and arguments. Some of the things that happen are outrageous but you could probably still see them happening in real life with the right kinds of people! My favourite character however, was Jack, who doesn’t have a great deal to complain about, but instead is a realistic voice of reason on side of all that drama.
I’m not sure how well this book falls into the category of thriller as I think there’s definitely a lot more drama, but there’s definitely hints of mystery to make you think about the truth behind some of these strange events.
I did have a few niggles with this book, for example I’m not a fan of an accent being portrayed in spelling, and I also felt that there were a few chapters that seemed repetitive or took unnecessary tangents, but in general this was a really enjoyable book and I’m really glad to have read it. I’d recommend this for someone looking for a domestic drama.
Overall rating: “Gilding the Lily” is a domestic drama full of secrets, lies and plenty of arguments too. I had a couple of niggles, but in general found this to be enjoyable story with unexpected ending.
Don’t forget to check out the reviews of other blogs on the tour and if you like what you’ve read about it, support the author by picking up a copy on Kindle or Paperback through Amazon UK.