Strengths: Page turner, emotional read.
Weaknesses: Very emotional read and the second main character is not as strong.
Why I read it: ebook
download from Net Galley
Published: 2010/2011 (different for different regions)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, Penguin Group USA (depending on where you are)
Setting: England, France, Africa
Rating: 9 out of 10
If you like this, try: The Past and Other Lies by Maggie Joel
This book came out in Australia around Christmas time last year. This was the cover we received:
and to be honest, it really didn’t appeal to me. It looked very chick lit and soppy. However, the American cover enticed me more and I had heard good things about this book, so I successfully applied to receive a Net Galley of this book. Boy, I’m so glad that I did. This is a highly emotional love story that keeps you reading well into the night without being over the top. I was really pleased with this book, and highly recommend it to those that like a well written story with detailed characters, drama and plenty of obstacles. I also think that this would make a great movie.
This book opens with Jennifer, the main protagonist, recovering in hospital after a nasty car accident where the driver was killed. Her problem is that she has amnesia of the events prior and must get to know her husband, friends and home all over again. As time goes on, Jennifer starts to feel that something isn’t quite right, but no-one will tell her anything. She then finds letters hidden in her house addressed to her, love letters signed by B. Who is B?
The story then moves back to the time before Jennifer’s accident and how she and B fell in love and planned to leave her dreary suburban life for him. Unfortunately, a number of unfortunate instances occur and things don’t happen as planned…
In the present day, Ellie is a journalist at the same newspaper as B, stuck in a dead end relationship with a novelist. She discovers the love letters as the newspaper plans to move buildings and decides to make it a feature. During this time, she learns from Jennifer the strength of relationships and what it is to really be in love.
I thought Ellie’s character was a little less engaging than Jennifer, but they are products of different times – Ellie seems much looser and flippant in comparison. Ellie is also instrumental in the ending of the book and the third section provides some lighter relief from the tortured relationship of Jennifer and B. This book was excellently written and produced a great feeling of raw emotion, especially when it wasn’t done to do so (1960’s upper middle class London). It’s more than chick lit, it’s a fine, classy story that you shouldn’t pass by. I couldn’t put this book down, not even when wandering about the house!