I cannot tell you how pleased I am, to be given the opportunity to review the latest book from the fantastic TA Williams.
How could I not immediately warm to Jane, especially after we are given a glimpse of her previous life and all that she has been through and all that she has lost.
I loved Truffaldino – in fact I think I would struggle to read a TA Wiliams novel without the ubiquitous gorgeous black Labrador; always a welcome character. As for Veronica Leonard – she initially seemed a little prickly, but I felt sure she would appear more mellow, given time. I felt that if anyone could help her overcome the brewing depression since the death of her Husband, it would be Jane.
I loved the descriptions of Venice and of the estate in the hills – at times I almost felt as though I were there. The descriptions of the Italian food were simply divine and actually made my mouth water! As for the charity auction – I found myself enchanted by the whole occasion. Jane’s dress sounded out of this world, and her meeting debonair Paolo kind of ‘put the cream on the cake’ of the whole evening. Paolo seemed genuine – charm personified – and he joined Veronica’s Son David on my personal list of possible suitors for Jane. Indeed I found myself inordinately pleased to see that Jane’s summer estate accommodation was near to where David resided! Jane had experienced such a rough time of life in recent years, with her army work and the loss of her partner, that I found myself genuinely caring about what happened to her. I wanted her to live her best life and be happy – and if that meant finding herself in the arms of a charming suitor, all the better! There were hints at some kind of mysterious history between Veronica and Paolo, and I must confess to having my interest piqued at this snippet. Furthermore I did wonder as to whether there was some kind of history between Paolo and David?
I suspected that Veronica had fallen into some kind of depression after the death of her husband, but I felt that Jane was a real tonic for her in terms of her mental health, and she rapidly seemed to be helping to ease some of Veronica’s inner torment, helping her to enjoy life again. Perchance she would even start to write again at some stage, should Jane keep up her good work. It felt ironic – that Jane too had lost someone to whom she had been so close, so the two women were suffering similarly and it could actually be more that the two women were helping each other to overcome their grief, perhaps without even realising what they were doing for each other. David too didn’t sound like the happiest soul – and my curiosity was sparked as to the reason for his dark mood. When Jane actually met David, he was somewhat unkempt; not a man who seemed to care about how he looked! There also seemed to be some kind of intrigue as to why he had come out of the armed forces. There most definitely seemed to be some kind of spark developing between David and Jane – and in Jane’s words ‘What was the trouble with ‘poor David’ and why did she find herself thinking about him so often’? One thing for certain was that I loved the way that Jane could tell whether or not David was smiling, merely by looking at his eyes. My heart did sink for poor Jane when it looked as though David might be offering to come hiking with her – when in actual fact, he was offering Dino’s services! Y
Veronica’s Mother-in-law was a wonderful, sparkling character, as far removed from the stereotypical 95 year old as you could get! She seemed to defy her years, and I suspected she would be tremendous fun to be around.
Diana, Veronica’s Daughter was beautiful and charismatic – like a breath of fresh air, and I couldn’t help but be mesmerised by her. I sincerely hoped that Jane might find a good friend in her. Beatrice, Veronica’s other Daughter was equally delightful, although she had clearly been having some issues and was a little more reserved than her Sister.
I felt as though the simmering relationship between David and Jane, was gradually blossoming throughout the book; there was no doubting at all that Jane enjoyed being with him; close to him – even if David was a little more backwards in coming forwards when it came to demonstrating affection. However it definitely seemed augDavid was holding something back.
The cover of this book promised me ‘feel-good’ and I am delighted to confirm that this is exactly how I felt after reading this astonishing, uplifting book. We started off with a tangle of depression, sprouting into something new, better and exciting. The wave of relationships throughout was overwhelming, yet beautiful. A wonderful story of sad, damaged minds coming together, helping each other, creating something beautiful. An unforgettable story.