When Alice's husband Ben dies suddenly, her world falls apart. They shared twenty years and two daughters and life without him is unimaginable. Having lost her parents while young, Alice understands her girls' pain. At fifteen, Jools is at that awkward age and only Ben could get through to her. And eleven-year-old Holly looks for the answer to everything in books but this time she's drawing a blank. Alice realizes that for their sakes she must summon up superhuman reserves of strength. Somehow all three of them come through the dark days. In time, it's even possible for Alice to consider marrying again, with the girls' blessing. So when Ben turns up after three years, her world is again turned upside-down. The girls assume that their family can go back to the way they were. Alice is not so sure. Once more Alice has to find the strength to be the mother her daughters need her to be. But this time what that means is far from clear
I was drinking...
An excellent white wine, we are talking smart London after all, so a nice Pouilly-fumé would fit the bill
In my opinion....
This story gives a very different view of a disaster from a family’s point of view, rather than through the media.
The characters are well drawn and give a wonderfully varied perspective, perhaps at times Kevin is a little bit OTT , but his campness injects welcome humour & I loved him. Holly’s perceptiveness worried me, and really did make me sit back and think about the children caught up in these situations, whilst the parents are collapsing around them. Just 2 examples, as I was interested in all the characters, & felt that family life was accurately portrayed in such a terrible situation.
I liked the frequent change of location, it was quite seamless , the dating of the chapters was a help & I believed the author had done her research thoroughly.
At times I felt that Alice’s mothering was excessive, and there were a few coincidences that stretched credibility a little, but that is a minor issue.
The actual plot is intriguing and I changed my mind constantly as to how I thought it would end, which in turn kept me reading until the small hours.
I have not read any books written by Sinead Moriarty previously, but on the strength of this novel will certainly look for them in future.
Thank you to http://www.lovereading.co.uk/ for my review copy prior to publication in February 2016