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Home Truths

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  40 reviews
How far would you go to keep your family safe?

Angie Watts had the perfect ordinary family. A new home. A beloved husband. Three adored children.

But Angie’s happy life is shattered when her son Liam falls in with the wrong crowd. And when her son’s bad choices lead to the murder of her husband, it’s up to Angie to hold what’s left of her family together.

Her son is missing
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 22nd 2019 by HarperCollins
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  90 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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My thanks to HarperCollins for an eARC via NetGalley of Susan Lewis’ ‘Home Truths’ in exchange for an honest review.

Angie Watts happy life is shattered when her husband is savagely murdered by a local gang and her son, Liam, disappears after being cleared of involvement. Now a single mother with two children, it’s not long before she is struggling financially.

A cascade of horrible things happens to Angie that sees her threatened with eviction from her rental home and homelessness. At times it is
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of Susan's work ever since I had the good fortune to pick up a copy of one of her earlier books. Since then I have tried to keep up with each new book that she has writtenwhilst at the same time tryinig to catch up with her earlier releases. I was extremely lucky to receive a copy of Susan's latest book called 'Home Truths', which was released on 22nd August 2019. I really enjoyed it but more about that in a bit.
I can't say that I really took to Angie Watts at all, as there wer
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a dark and decidedly gritty novel dealing with those who have descended into poverty, and face a daily battle to survive at the bottom of the societal heap. It is very realistic, addressing social issues sadly very relevant in England today, such as debt, homelessness and Universal Credit.

Our protagonist, Angie, is trying to come to terms with the violent death of her husband, and the apparent disappearance into society's underground of her vulnerable son, Liam. You can't help but feel
Pamela Donaldson
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
The books starts really well, packing plenty of punches under brutal circumstances; Angie's drug addicted son is partly responsible for the brutal murder of her husband. It then gets a bit mundane with Angie falling into crippling debt but burying her head in the sand and refusing to deal with it until she loses her home. The book ends with a fairy tale happily-ever-after ending which helped to close the book on a happy note, but was completely unrealistic and very similar to the ending of a fam ...more
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
For me this book tried too hard to look at the darker strata of society. The small town of Ketsley has everything - County Lines Drug Gangs, forced prostitution and people trafficing, a suspected paedophile ring, a thriving homeless population and for a small town a lot of dead young people. Honestly it is worse than any inner city. I'm not saying that I want the real world to be pushed out of my reading and that these things do not have a place in a novel BUT it just feels over blown and over ...more
Jayne Anderson
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins for my ARC.

I have read a lot of Susan's previous books and knew I was in for a treat. As with some books from other authors I have previously enjoyed, I have sometimes been left a little disappointed, but
thankfully I have never been let down by this author. I saved this as a holiday read and loved, loved, loved it.

The book really struck a chord as being a single parent myself living on the edge of a council estate I know how easy it can be to make ends
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Following the downfall of a bereft mother of three, tearing you a new heart string. The characters are easy to relate to, you want the state, family, or anyone to help. It’s a descent into the bottom reaches of the welfare state, so be ready for some downs with the ups on the emotionally powered rollercoaster. There’s always a silver lining, but is it just drug encrusted tin foil in the gutter?

The protagonist Angie is widowed early on, the brutal death of her husband contrasts with his good nat
Catherine Rickard
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every parent’s worst nightmare becomes a reality.
Wow!! What a brutal, vicious start to the book. Susan Lewis throws the reader straight into the action from the very first page.
Angie’s life is turned upside down- from the idyllic home life with her husband and three children to finding herself grieving and homeless. Just like the many luckless people that she works so hard to help.
Every parent’s worst nightmare.
Angie tries as hard as she possibly can to keep her son on the straight and narrow b
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My thanks to NetGalley and publisher HarperCollins UK for the ARC.
Oh My! It's extremely rare when reading a novel, for my eyes to well-up with tears. This one managed to elicit that reaction.
This story exemplifies the saying that "bad things can happen to good people".

Angie has 3 children and husband Steve is a hard-working and well-respected housing decorator. Her oldest, Liam, has 'gone off the rails' into a world of drugs, and to the extent that his activities are now affecting her youngest
Daisy Dooley
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Home Truths Susan Lewis tackles some pretty heavy subjects. Following the death of her beloved husband at the hands of a violent gang and the disappearance of her eldest son Liam, Angie is faced with the reality of bringing up her younger two children on her own in a time of austerity. Despite working several jobs, she is without an income for several weeks due to the failure of the Universal Credit scheme. Falling behind on her rent, council tax, TV licence etc, she is faced with a mountain ...more
Jo Barton
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Struggling to cope after a family tragedy, Angie Watts finds that her life spirals into chaos and although she is doing everything she can to keep her family together, rising debts and an unscrupulous landlord forces her to the very brink of despair. It's impossible not to feel an emotional attachment to Angie and her family, especially when her teenage daughter tries to find her own solution to the family's problem with disastrous consequences.

I think Home Truths is a story of contrasts and sho
Sonya Alford
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'Home Truths' is the first book I have read by this author and I have to say I am seriously impressed. Susan Lewis has written a truly wonderful and genuine story which I think will touch the hearts of many readers. I found myself getting heavily involved in it and the characters and I felt really quite sad when I finished the book.

Out of all the characters I thought Angie was just the loveliest person going. She certainly didn’t deserve to go through what she did. There she was working as hard
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My what a great story. This book shows you how happiness can change overnight to despair, sadness, and frustration.

Angie & Steve watts and their 3 children Liam, Grace, and Zak are a happy hardworking family until Liam who has mild learning difficulties falls into a ruthless gang and goes off the rails. Resulting in him witnessing his dad being beaten to death by the gang and him not having the power to stop it.
Angie in her fury and anger tells Liam he is dead to her and she never wants t
Tea Leaves and Reads
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Angie Watts had the perfect ordinary family. A new home. A beloved husband. Three adored children.

But Angie’s happy life is shattered when her son Liam falls in with the wrong crowd. And when her son’s bad choices lead to the murder of her husband, it’s up to Angie to hold what’s left of her family together.

Her son is missing. Her daughter is looking for help in dangerous places. And Angie is fighting just to keep a roof over their heads.

How many contemporary social issues can you get into one b
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Angie Watts used to have everything. A new home. A beloved husband. Three adored children.
But Angie’s happy life is shattered when her son Liam falls in with the wrong crowd. And after her son’s bad choices lead to the murder of her husband, it’s up to Angie to hold what’s left of her family together.
Her son is missing. Her daughter is looking for help in dangerous places. And Angie is fighting just to keep a roof over their heads.
But Angie is a mother. And a mother does anything to protect her
Lee Lyons
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story of Angie, who loses her eldest son as her husband does, and finds her life spinning out of control as she can no longer make ends meet, has really struck a chord with me. The account of her difficulties in trying to keep a roof over her head and that of her two children, working as many jobs as she can on top of her role with a charity - ironically looking after people in similar positions to the one she now finds herself in - in order to try and find a way out of the crippling debt sh ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a lovely book, which I found very thought provoking. It is full of great characters that the reader can really root for.

Angie Watts has a good life, she has a job she loves which is very rewarding her husband has a his own business and they live with their three children in a nice house on a lovely estate. One day everything changes, her husband is brutally murdered and her son who has become mixed up with a gang disappears. Angies' life slowly falls apart as she struggles to make
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Angie had the perfect life - a loving husband, wonderful children and a happy home. But her oldest son gets into trouble - drugs and gangs - and all of a sudden she finds herself drawn into a world that she never knew existed. When the worst possible tragedy occurs and her son goes missing, Angie finds her perfect world comes crashing down, and she will do whatever it takes to ensure that her younger children never know the terror she has experienced...

Oh my goodness, this book. 5 stars is not e
My Reading Habit
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This is not my typical read, so I was very unsure of how to rate it so 3 it is.

The main story goes around a family huge major event that changes everything, so they see themselves struggling to keep the life they are used to having, which felt so real and sad, it captured the essence of how devasting debt can be, and how some life choices can definitely turn your life upside down.

It made me think of life in general, and how sad I was for the characters, I was obviously expecting a turn of event
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Angie Watts had a good life with her husband and their family however their vulnerable eldest son got caught up in a bad crowd and when her husband finally decided enough is enough he ends up getting brutally murdered. Around two years on and Angie’s life is unrecognisable, she has no idea where her eldest is having hit out at him in a moment of intense grief and she is drowning financially.

This is a fantastic eye opener about the working poor and how easily their situations can change from dire
Becky Jones
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this novel and I think that was because it was easy for me to emphasise with Angie, the protagonist, having been in similar situations myself.
The book is a page turner, it left me keen to keep reading at every opportunity. The characters were well created and easy to identify with.
The story had tragedy, suspense and a feel good ending but I think the author wrote it responsibly enough to show that in real life, not everyone gets a happy ending like Angie.
I found the book
Patricia Pimenta
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
After the tragic death of a her husband (trying to spare any spoilers here), Angie finds herself deep down in an abyss. The reader finds himself immersed and easily attached to a modern world reality of debts, traffic, drugs, homelessness, and the true meaning of love, and how far one is willing to go to protect their children. Relatable and emotional, one finds himself cheering up for Angie not to give up and feels compelled to extend his hand to help the less fortunate.
Although romanticised, w
Rachel Myers
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book that starts with a father being kicked and beaten to death by a gang of youths is never going to be an easy read, and so Home Truths proved. Characters suffer from drug addiction, depression and dealing with debt, and with a storyline depicting the bureaucracy involved in being homeless and having no money, it pulls no punches.

Following Steve Watts’ death, while looking for his drug addicted son Liam, the story picks up two years later, when Angie, his widow, is struggling to make ends me
Miss A
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'Home Truths' is a truly heartbreaking book chronicling the devastation of one family as they descend into death, drugs, debt, homelessness and more. However despite the almost relentless misery the characters face I was unable to put the book down, constantly hoping that something would eventually go right, anything at all. The book is well written, well paced, engaging, full of surprises and truly inspiring, I found myself wanting to find some way to give back and help those who need it becaus ...more
Lucy Samuels
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Susan Lewis' writing in this novel. Initially, I was worried that it might not be the kind of book I would enjoy, but this novel certainly throws you in at the deep end of the action and made me want to read on. The storyline focuses around a single mother struggling to support her children and covers topics of homelessness and debt in a way that clearly demonstrates a real empathy from the writer for those who have experienced these situations. Lewis herself writes in the acknowledgem ...more
Tracey Gibbs
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. It drew you in to the story from the very beginning and you got to know all the characters really well. This story also kept you wanting to read more and really making you want things to work out for the main character and her family. The twist near the end with the inheritance was a really excellent ending to an extremely good novel. I would definitely read novels from this author again. When you are not reading this novel you are still thinking of the characters ...more
Rebecca Winn
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a new author to me and I thoroughly enjoyed the style of writing used - I actually feel lucky to have found someone new! The book had a great story line which was weaved throughout the story. From the beginning of the book I was expecting this to be a story just about the opening gambit but in actual fact this book really gave me food for thought (life insurance being one of them!) and really made me think about situations people can end up in no matter how perfect and complete their liv ...more
Pat Simpson
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have been a reader of Susan Lewis’s Books for a number of years but I didn’t think that this was one of her best. Angie is coming to terms with the brutal death of her husband Steve and the disappearance of her drug addicted and vulnerable son Liam. She is left to bring up her other two children and despite having several jobs Angie finds herself with a mountain of debts and before long the family are evicted. Her sister takes in the children but Angie finds herself sleeping in Steve’s van. Th ...more
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
An eye-opener to the truths of poverty in present-day England.

Angie works for a charity supporting people transitioning from homelessness in what used to be called half-way houses. She didn't expect to find herself becoming more and more entangled in debt after her husband was murdered and no longer an onlooker of such problems.

This is a powerful story with a rich array of diverse characters, all presented clearly so there is no confusion of names or roles or relationships. We mostly see the wo
Helen Hopwood
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another great suspenseful family drama from Susan Lewis.

A number of difficult issues are covered in the story - debt, homelessness, poverty, drugs, gangs, human trafficking and grooming. The author has captured what is unfortunately a reality in British society today. Many people - the ‘working poor’ - find themselves struggling to make ends meet each day. The author has successfully portrayed this through the character of Angie. We also see how a person’s life can be changed literally overnight
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