I received this book from TripFiction.com
Family ties, love and mystery
My rating: 4 out of 5
Jess is struggling to accept that her daughter has died whilst away on a skiing holiday. Then Jess begins to learn more about her daughter’s past and things become even more difficult.
At the heart of this novel is the difficult subject of losing a daughter. However the writing is compelling and keeps you reading through the sadness and longing. Jess is trying to keep busy looking after her granddaughter, and has the support of her family and best friend. However as she unravels the mystery of her daughter’s past Jess finds herself wondering just who she can trust. A deep and emotional story of family ties and love, with a mystery to be unravelled.
We get to know Anna, Jess’s daughter, through an anonymous blog that she had been writing for a few years before her accident. This gives us a great insight into things from her point of view, and is so well written that the reader really gets to know Anna. The rest of the chapters are divided up between following Jess and her best friend Theo. The book flows very smoothly, and the pace is good. The characters are mostly family members, and close friends, some likeable some not so much so – all very true to life.
Set mostly near Guildford, England there are occasional days out and visits to the Lake District, however there is little detail of these places to distract the reader from the main story. This is a book about family relationships, and the realisation that people lie and keep secrets, for all sorts of reasons. This makes Jess find it very difficult to decide who she can believe in.
Though a very emotional subject, the author has not gone for a tear-jerking read. I did have a “gasp out loud” moment though – important to know if you are reading this book on the train etc! There is plenty in this book to make you stop and think – impressions we give others, what is really important in relationships and, of course, coping with the change that loss bring. It is very true to life, with many themes that any mother will relate to – including difficult teenagers.
A rating of 4 from me; life’s experience will play a big factor in how a reader finds this book. Well written and a good story.
See also: The Book of Love by Fionnuala Kearney