Controlling what I can + “The Lying Game” by Ruth Ware

Life just keeps giving me rain hurricanes. And just when one blows itself out, here comes another one, ready to reek havoc on our shore.

And it’s impossible to control hurricanes.

In case you’ve forgotten, my mom died in March. There are a lot of stories rolling in my head about her life, true stories waiting to be changed and fictionalized, most of them having to do with the horribly tumultuous time in her life just after her mom died. I was in my late teens, knowing my mom’s pain, but unable to fathom a world where my mom was gone.

I look back and want to just pull her close, hug her fiercely from one woman to another. I didn’t realize how much harder hard times are when you don’t have your mom to call. Even if she couldn’t do anything, she could listen to my worries and talk me through the my difficult times.

Any way, there was that. We had two memorial services for her; the last one was in Colorado in early June. When that was over, I said to myself, “well, that’s all done. I’m gonna miss her everyday, but the public mourning is done. I can go on.”

But there was one more thing lingering in our family background. My husband had some digestive issues lingering: sever diverticulitis that required a resection of his intestines and bowels. Fun. A serious surgery, but one that is done quite often. The surgeon was sure he would be fine, because he’s young and strong and in good health.

All true.

He initially came through the surgery fine. Initially.

But then infection. And then more complications. So here we sit, three weeks after the initial surgery, back in the hospital and waiting. At this point, it’s been a week and a half since we came in for the infection.

This is the storm.

Right now, my life is a shuttle. I’m back and forth, between home and hospital (which, luckily, is less than three miles away). I feel guilty for not spending all day at the hospital, and guilty for not spending my evenings with my girls.

Thank goodness they’re 14 and (almost) 13 — it would be much more difficult if they were little. I’m also thankful for good friends, willing and able to jump in with food and help with the girls.

But what do you do when life starts to (feel like) it’s spinning out of control? Me, I find things to organize. Because when life feels out of control, organizing the junk drawer, or the laundry room, or our closet, gives me control of something. I guess it feels good to have a little control, even if that control won’t change a thing.

You can’t control the hurricane, but you can control how you prepare and react. You board up the windows and make sure you have food and water. You stock up on candles and lighters. You take control of what you can, and hold on while the storm rages.

And, speaking of the storms . . .

While you ride out the storm, maybe you look back at your life. Maybe you have secrets, ones that you never got around to telling your significant other.

And that can be a bit of a storm, right? Especially when the secret comes back, needing your help.

That’s kind of the premise of Ruth Ware’s The Lying Game.

All it takes is one text to get Isabel, Thea, and Fatima to leave their homes (and families) in London and head to the quiet seaside town of Salten. Three words from their old friend Kate, “I need you.”

For one year at boarding school, the four girls were inseparable. Kate, the daughter of the art teacher, gave them a home to which to escape on weekends. But something happened toward the end of that year at Salten, something that caused three of the teens to be forced out of the school, with each unsure as to what propelled that expulsion.

Kate has stayed in Salten, living in her childhood home. When a bone is found on the shore, she calls for the three people she know will come.

But none of them understand what happened when they were teens, and do not understand what dangers lurk in Salten.

I’ve become very addicted to Ruth Ware’s edgy mysteries, and The Lying Game lived up to my high expectations. I wanted to scream at Isabel (she’s the consistently unreliable narrator), and to shake all the other girls – which makes it’s incredibly unputdownable!!

If you haven’t read Ruth Ware, check her out. I reviewed In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10, with both making my recommendations list. She’s so dark and creepy, which makes her thrillers nothing but perfect.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s