But like many women, she has learned to cope by juggling her time and emotions with consummate skill and her natural propensity for love and kindness.
What she hadn’t reckoned on was that digging into her mysterious mother’s Italian roots would set in train a series of events and discoveries that will turn her life upside down.
Gripping and authentic family dramas have become the bedrock of best-selling author Susan Lewis’s powerful novels which explore the gritty realities of contemporary life with extraordinary warmth and understanding.
Thirty-six-year-old Lainey’s life is truly hectic. She has two children, 11-year-old Zav and high-maintenance, hormonal teenage daughter Tierney, a 21-year-old stepson Max who is about as much fun as ‘an angry wasp,’ a stepfather with Alzheimer’s and her demanding, successful author husband Tom.
Haunted by the cruel treatment dished out by her late mother Alessandra who arrived in England when Lainey was a newborn baby and never revealed anything about the identity of the father, Lainey feels she has lived her whole life on the outside of a secret.
Now Alessandra is dead, taking the secret with her, and Lainey has booked a villa for all the family in the Italian village where her mother grew up and hopes to seek out the past.
Husband Tom – a man who rarely expresses his feelings – appears supportive until he hits her with a bombshell that shatters the foundations of their marriage… another secret Lainey never knew anything about.
Shaken, but more determined than ever to find out who she really is, Lainey takes her children to Umbria in search of answers, however unexpected they may turn out to be…
Lewis always writes straight from the heart, filling her stories with credible and engaging characters, recognisable family dilemmas and portraying their journey with her special brand of humanity.
This is an author whose storytelling gifts are underpinned by a firm belief in the eternal values of love, loyalty and friendship, and the central role of family.
Sensitively written and so palpably real, The Truth About You is guaranteed to warm hearts and delight readers young and old.
(Century, hardback, £9.99)