Historical fiction, Romance

Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs

I need to start this (the only review of the day and therefore I plan to make it count) review by saying that the only reason I did not give this book a full five stars is because I did not cry actual tears. This may be an odd reason to give a book less than five stars but considering the content, it is imperative for a person usually prone to weeping with both the good and the bad, when well written,to actually cry with the protagonists.I normally measure that unknown parameter that creates such vivid empathy with the actual events by the sobbing/trickling tears.

There is a very obvious parallel to The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen but is in many ways better.Camille is a widow who has been mourning in her own way for five years. She has shut herself off from the active semi dangerous life she used to lead when still part of a couple and this has caused a great divide to form between her and her daughter Julie.Julie in turn hates her life and is a target for bullies at her school.Into the picture comes Professor Finn who ignites a small spark which Camille quickly quenches. But when her ailing father (in remission) decides to open up about his past and even thinks of going back to the remote part of France that he grew up in, changes are set in motion. Camille stumbles on something that leads her on a quest that only Finn can help(since it involves the War times-hence the parallel to ‘The Tuscan Child’). They all end up summering in France and their lives will never be the same again.The main thing I should not forget to mention is that photography,nostalgia and memories form the heart of the book and that is where the beauty lies.

I am sucker for happily ever afters , the writing is very nice, the quotations about photography seemed to be tailored to make me smile.With all this put together , it is a book I would recommend with no reservations.There is also narration based in the 1940s to give us more of a view of the older characters.

P.S: I was initially sad that I was not approved a copy via NetGalley when it was still on it so was doubly happy when I saw it sitting on the W shelf in the library!This has nothing to do with the review itself but thought it interesting how some things just happen. There are such events in the book too!

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