Filled with suspense, The Marriage Lie asks the question: How well do you know your spouse?
Chat with Kimberly S. Belle Friday, January 13, from 1-2 CST using the hashtag #southernlit or our chatroom here. We will be giving away a copy of the book to one lucky chat participant.
Kimberly S. Belle has been married for 24 years and counting. She thinks she knows her husband and has complete trust in him, but as her latest book reveals, sometimes we don’t know really know the person sleeping beside us every night.
In The Marriage Lie, couple Iris and Will are blissfully happy. They own their dream house in a nice Atlanta neighborhood, have rewarding careers and are trying for their first baby. One morning, Will leaves for a business trip to Orlando. At the same time, a plane headed for Seattle crashes into a field, killing everyone on board. According to the airline, Will was on board that Seattle plane.
Stricken with grief and confused about why her husband was on the wrong plane, Iris at first thinks it’s all a huge misunderstanding and that Will will come home at any moment. As time passes with no sign of her husband, she must accept that he’s gone—and lied to her. Iris wonders what else Will lied about and why.
Belle says the idea of a plane crash came from her own flying back and forth across the country with her Dutch husband. “I liked the idea of a husband who died on a plane he wasn’t really supposed to be on,” she says. “It conjured up all sorts of questions in my mind and hopefully readers’ minds.”
Will’s plane crash sets Iris off on a mad search for the truth, but Belle also had to deal with her character’s emotional reaction to the disaster. “Because she’s an ordinary woman thrown into an extraordinary situation, she’s going to have all these emotions and the experience will completely change the way she looks at people in her life,” Belle explains.
‘Hey babe, it’s me. I know you’re still in the air, but a plane just crashed after taking off from Hartsfield, and for about fifteen terrifying seconds I thought it might have been yours, and I just needed to…I don’t know, hear for myself that you’re okay. I know it’s silly, but call me as soon as you land, okay?’” – Iris, Chapter 2
While going through the stages of grief, denial, betrayal and anger, Iris travels to Seattle to try and uncover what her husband might have been doing there. As she gets closer and closer to the truth, she discovers that someone is trying to stop her from finding out who her husband really was.
Belle’s first two books—The Last Breath and The Ones We Trust—were marketed as women’s fiction, but The Marriage Lie marks her transition to straight suspense. Readers of Belle will know that she excels at romance and steamy love scenes. (Who remembers Gia and Jake’s kitchen tryst from The Last Breath?). In The Marriage Lie, her love story comes in the form of Iris and Will’s backstory of a happy marriage.
“I was much more careful with this story to keep a fire to the suspense,” she says. “I still love to read romance, but I found as I was writing this book that I really enjoy the suspense and quick pace of it. Sex scenes are hard to write—getting the pacing right and getting readers to experience the visceral emotions. Suspense might be just a little less complicated.”
There’s nothing simple about the web of lies Iris uncovers in her search for Will though. With The Marriage Lie, Belle delivers another page-turner illustrating the dark side of marriage and making wives everywhere question how well they know their husbands.