Tuesday intro: Beneath the Skin by Caroline England

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon.

tuesdayI’m also joining in with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by The Purple Booker, where you share teasers from your current read. I read a lot of these posts over the course of an average Tuesday so thought it would be fun to join in here too.

This week, I’m featuring a book I’m actually in the middle of (whereas I normally share my next read), Beneath the Skin by Caroline England.

Here’s what it’s about…

No-one remembers your past. But you do.

‘Antonia, Antonia. My name is Antonia.’

It’s been her name for many years. But sometimes, like tonight, she forgets.

Antonia has a secret. A secret so dark and so deep that she can barely admit it to herself. Instead, she treats herself to Friday night sessions of self-harm while her husband David is at the pub, and her best friend Sophie is drinking too much wine a few doors down.

Nobody close to her knows the truth about what the teenage Antonia saw all those years ago. No-one, that is, except her mother. But Candy is in a care home now, her mind too addled to remember the truth. Antonia is safe. Isn’t she?

The lies start small. They always do. But when the tightly woven story you’ve told yourself begins to unravel, the truth threatens to come to the surface. And then what’s going to happen?

And here’s how it starts….

‘Antonia, Antonia. My name is Antonia.’

It’s been her name for many years.  But sometimes, like tonight, she forgets.

Lying in the bath, she stares at the naked razor blade.  The tiny distorted reflection of a girl gazes back.  If she was brave, if she was very brave, she’d use it on her wrists, two deep final lines.  Then she’d close her eyes and let this masquerade slip away. 

And here are some teasers….

He stands for a moment, the slam of Rachel’s bedroom door loud in his ears.  He shakes off his jacket and looks at Olivia.  She hasn’t moved and her face is set.  He’s never seen her so angry. ‘It’s raining,’ he murmurs, looking for time, wondering how best to handle such an unexpected situation. (page 25)


It’s been a day of maybes, his mind fit to burst with the uncertainty of it all.  Maybe Olivia will forgive  him for the things he said.  Maybe life will go on as before. (page 51)

I’m just over half-way through now and hooked.  It isn’t the book I was expecting but in a good way.  What about you – does it appeal?




  1. I’m so glad you are enjoying this one Emma. To be honest there is something about self-harm in fiction that makes me far more queasy than the murders I love reading, odd I know but I’ll probably pass on this one.


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