Source: Uncorrected proof provided by Simon and Schuster via The Reading Room.
I read over 200+ books in a year and I’m in my early thirties so really by now, I should know that when someone told me that it’s a heart-warming novel that it will be a gut-wrenching, tear-ducts-squeezing, and heart-lightening sort of tale. I wasn’t feeling the best this week and mid-reading, I was questioning myself why I’m reading a book that tightened the feelings in my heart but of course, in the end, it works wonders as a balm to my blue week.
An old letter, forgotten and shoved away, fell out of a photo album and tore open the past. Valerie thought she had put the past behind and closed all the doors but this discovery of a letter addressed to her daughter, Briony, has brought all the memories back vividly and is a threat to their relationship as a family. A decision of the past, made in anger, with long reaching consequences has haunted her and now she may lose the most precious thing in her life. To save her family, and herself, Valerie needed to confront the past and resolve this enmity between herself and Briony’s grandmother, Tessa.
Valerie and Tessa never truly got on. Tessa loved her youngest son, Jeff, and wished him all the best things in the world but she just wasn’t sure if Valerie was the best thing for him. Valerie loved Jeff like no other before or after and she felt keenly of Tessa’s dislike of her. She also thought that Tessa was interfering in their lives a little too much. Whilst a truce was called after the birth of Briony, Jeff’s death brought both women to say unforgivable things to each other. A rift, larger than before, was formed with neither party willing to negotiate.
The story was mostly told from the perspective of Valerie with tonnes of flashbacks as to what had happened to bring her to her current predicament. There are two sides to every story though and we, as readers, are also given bits and pieces of Tessa’s perspective to allow understanding. Whilst her perspective told me enough to understand her side of the story, I did wish for more, for a flashback to Tessa’s younger self and what she went through.
A novel which tells the strength of women in all kinds of trials and the power of forgiveness with stories that will resonate with all women in all stages of life. Whether you are young and in love, a young mother, a single mother, a mother with grown children, a grandmother, etc, this novel will speak to each part of your life. I am a young mother myself and yet I found myself nodding, chuckling & tutting, sympathising with all the women (3 generations worth) in this novel. This is not a novel you’d read for the surprising or shocking revelations, but to enjoy every aspects of womanhood with all that entails.
Thank you, Simon and Schuster and The Reading Room for providing copy of book in exchange of honest review