Today I am thrilled to be reviewing another book by one of my favourite authors – Shari Low and from what has become one of my favourite publishers @boldwoodbooks.
If you want to laugh, or if you want to cry, this book covers both eventualities, from the tragedy of Harriet’s Son, to Maisie bringing out the wrong cake. And when I say wrong, I mean a penis shaped patisserie cock up. (Please excuse the pun!) This book has it all – fun and laughter, secrets, intrigue – and all this intrigue seems to be connected in some way. In fact, it is a real testament to the author that she managed to keep track of who was who and what they were up to, in such a fantastic way, to produce this amazing, enjoyable read. The author introduces the characters to us in such a way that as a reader you really care about them and are invested in their happiness; even those characters that have done wrong, come across as likeable and you can’t help but to want the best outcome for them. In my opinion, it takes great skill, as an author, to provoke such empathy in all your characters.
If this book were a film (it would make a great film) I wouldn’t know where to look, in that there are so many related threads in this story. Kelly and Scott – I almost don’t know where to start with their relationship, such is its complexity. The pair of them certainly need to talk! I can’t even work out who I think is most at fault for the issues with their relationship. Is Scott really tired of ‘doing the right thing’? The more complicated their relationship is, the more compelling the story is for the reader. Add Scott’s best friend Carson into the mix – and you have a mess.
I found both parties likeable characters and so felt slightly sad as I couldn’t foresee how they could overcome their problems. It seemed awkward for them, when they had so much to discuss with each other, but had to attend their Daughter’s charity event and put on a united front, especially as their Daughter was leaving home to go and work in London the following day.
Maisie proves to be a fantastic friend to Sissy, standing in for her with the catering at Kelly and Scott’s Daughter’s charity event, when the venue has such bad memories for her. I was surprised when she agreed to meet her ex after the charity event, and just hoped that something good might come her way!
Harriet clearly has some kind of long lost family issue in her life; I felt sad that she clearly doesn’t feel that life is worth living after the death of her partner. The sadness seems amplified, if she really does have estranged family members living nearby. To be honest I found Harriet’s story simply heartbreaking, but I admired the way that author treated her narrative with kindness, empathy and understanding. It was touching as I couldn’t help but compare Harriet’s situation and experience of loneliness with the real-life circumstances and experiences of many older people. I loved the point in he book where Harriet had decided to not take her medication any more and to ‘let nature take its course’, only for her phone to ring; it brought tears to my eyes, when it was John, whom she had met at the charity event, asking her out for dinner. It was such a simple, but poignant moment, beautifully expressed. What happened next – utterly heartbreaking, yet beautifully written. As for the moment when the link between Maisie and Harriet’s was revealed – how it made my heart soar – what a beautiful twist in the story – it really did fill my heart with joy.
Kelly is such a likeable character and you can tell she is distraught at having inadvertently upset her Sister and Brother-In-Law although quite frankly they are the least of her problems in this story! As for Rick, Kelly’s Brother-in-law – has he genuinely had a secret love thing going on with Kelly, since their teenage years?
As for the ending of the book, I shall try not to give anything away, but will just say that it was the most wonderfully written yet unexpected ending that truly made my day, almost as if it had included members of my very own family.
To find out who ends up with who and who finds happiness at the end of the book, you will need to read it for yourself.To get hold of this stonking read, just use this link: https://amzn.to/2OJpQvE