I meant to just dip in and out of this book between my extremely tottering pile of ARCs to be read (and as I continue to request new ones every time I read a fascinating review, I am in big trouble). I read the The Forgotten Garden by the same author recently(reviewed in the link) and wanted to follow-up with more by the same author.There were two other highly rated books in the author’s list and I chose this first, soon to be followed by another.
All outdoor plans were cancelled, and dinner slightly postponed to ensure that I completed the book while still bound within the story and feeling completely enthralled by it( and of course try to finish this review while still in that same mood). I give this book a hearty five stars with no qualms at all.I am pretty sure there are many like me who feel the residue of a good or bad book on their person colouring the rest of the day and deciding the tone of it (again , it does have to be a really good or terribly bad one for that sort of impact) and this book was the former.
The story is all about secrets than span almost half a century and more.These do not necessarily need to come out into the open, though some of them do.Laurel is back home to be with her mother during the final days of her life. Being back home triggers memories of something that she had almost(but not quite) put in the dark recesses of her memory. With more questions plaguing her, she sets out to figure out exactly what caused the events of the day. We are also given a view into the past, first of Dorothy and then Jimmy and Vivien (all people who will mean more once you get into the book). Some of those revelations are for our eyes only, it does not help Laurel in any way.The growth of the people in the past shows the highs and lows and sometimes the depth of human ambition and how far people would go to achieve it. Each person differs in what they see as the ultimate life.The time period features war and the fears that went with it in daily life. Multiple relationships are described in the tale, some healthy and those are so well painted without seeming too sappy. It is a story beautifully written and I can not wait to try another of the author’s books.