I finished reading this book yesterday after devouring it in just a matter of days and now I’m at a loss as to what to read next as I enjoyed reading this so much! I read a book by Carrie Elks a few months ago and really enjoyed it so was looking forward to reading this, it definitely didn’t disappoint, it had me drawn in from the beginning, I couldn’t put it down and it was perfect escapism.
The story tells of Beth who works helping children who’s parents are struggling with drug addiction. She has a very wealthy husband Simon who gives her all she needs and a brilliant best friend in Lara who works at the drug clinic. It looks as though she has the perfect, stable life with a job she loves, a doting husband and a great best friend but Beth has a past which she has tried to move on from and it seems like the past is about to come back into her life.
Niall is part of Beth’s past and he has just taken on the role of the art teacher at the centre. Niall being back in Beth’s life causes her great confusion as she begins to remember the life she once had and relive a tragic event which has haunted her since. Her current life is stable at last, she’s built herself a very secure life but being back in Niall’s presence gives her a taste of who she once was and she realises she misses it.
When reading this book I was drawn in, I found it so hard to put down because I had loads of questions I wanted answers to; what did happen in Beth’s past? Was Simon aware of it? Would she really risk her marriage for something that happened so long ago? What would happen with the children at the centre she was trying to help?
There was lots going on in this book, talk of the past, the future, worrying about children in the care centre, facing big decisions and so forth and I think it all was woven together really well. The book flowed brilliantly, so much was covered but it didn’t feel like it was too much and it moved quite fast- no great long descriptions which I sometimes find can get a little tiring, instead it moved fast enough to keep me interested but without being so fast that it felt haphazard.
Within this book there are some chapters which tell us about Beth’s past. These are only a few pages long and give a brilliant insight into what happened. They’re just enough to show how Niall and Beth first met and what happened between them and the tragic event which then had them lose contact for so long. This was well done, I like that it wasn’t huge jumps back with lots of chapters dedicated to it as the present felt much more relevant so just having a few short chapters in the past worked really well.
The characters were brilliantly crafted. Being able to see parts of the past really helped get to know where Beth had come from. I liked the way she was really passionate about everything- her job, those around her, the children and how she worked through the angst she had about everything. I was unsure of Niall at first, suspicious of what part he had played in her past but the relationship between them was really special and made me really want Beth to choose him but at the same time I felt sorry for Simon who hadn’t really done anything wrong. I think that’s a very clever way of getting a reader to feel some of the angst that Beth had!
What I really liked about this book is that it felt very real… the dramas that unfolded could easily happen in real life – a marriage struggling when one of the members of it gets a taste of who they once was. A family battling with addiction… these things could easily happen and I think that’s what had me so captured by it. I find if I read a book that’s really unbelievable I struggle to get my head around it but this wasn’t like that at all.
There were some very moving moments that did leave me reaching for a tissue on occasion but they weren’t too much and it wasn’t pages and pages of grief and sadness but just enough to make it feel very real and raw.
I think this is an ideal book to give you some escapism. I found it so easy to read- no complex story lines or theories to get your head around. It was ideal reading to just switch off for a while from the real world and lose myself in someone else’s problems. If you’re looking for a book with enough going on to keep you interested and some brilliant characters with a realistic storyline then I definitely recommend this.
I really enjoyed reading it and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series Broken Chords.