Behind Her Back – Jane Lythell
Liz Lyon, the producer at StoryWorld TV, has returned in Behind Her Back, Jane Lythell’s second novel in the series. A fascinating entertaining drama that simmers with deceit, power struggles and family issues. We have a fascination with the world of TV, films and media – the glamour, glitz and indiscretions that seem to appeal to our insatiable appetite for scandal. What really happens behind the camera, the chicanery and achievements, the egos and the hard work, and the impact it has on personal relationships.
Liz Lyon is a hard-working woman and a single parent to Flo, and there is a very clear and deliberate female message in the story. Explicitly, it is a struggle for women to balance work and home but that the story should inspire women to pursue whatever they wish in life and not allow obvious or hidden barriers to stop them. I also appreciated that the story is fundamentally considered as an entertaining drama, fraught with office politics and career-damaging machinations regardless of gender. And in fact, similar issues are faced by both genders as a result of plotting and deceit.
There is a recognition that Liz’s job is very maternal, watching how the aspects of internal politics and conflicts can be averted and issues smoothed before there are highly disruptive consequences. The problems are just about to become a lot more personal.
StoryWorld TV has a new Sales and Marketing executive, Lori Kerwell, brought onboard by the MD Saul Relph and it seems she has greater ambitions than her appointed role. Closely linked to Saul she intrudes into aspects of the station which involve Liz and her boss Julius Jones, Director of Programmes. The die is cast for a power struggle, intrigue and the relentless cauldron of gossip. Jane Lythell presents these insights from personal experience as a morning TV producer, which really brings the authenticity of the story to a new level.
Maybe we’ve all felt periods when we’ve been undermined or went unrecognised in our jobs. Worse still when someone has set their sights on getting your job. The uncertainty and stress that can manifest itself are very well developed and the constant scheming is layered brilliantly as it builds and builds.
I would highly recommend this book and I really appreciate Jane Lythell for asking me to review her book and providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.