Reviewed by Sophie:
A book that made me smile and cry.
Firstly, I would like to thank NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book.
I have read a few of Veronica Henry’s books from this series and loved the feel of them. At first I was worried that the book would link to others from the series I hadn’t read, but it was a stand alone novel.
This book itself is a beautiful heartfelt piece of writing which was lovely from start to finish.
The characters felt real and I related to all in some way; each have their own stories to tell. Robyn and Jake, Shelia and Mick, Rocky, Tina and of course Gwen. The story mainly revolves around Robyn and Jake and their journey into their new lives getting married and becoming parents but then turns quite suddenly into Robyn’s story of getting in touch with her adoptive parents.
These stories were all touched upon by the author. Yet, I feel I wanted to know more about each of them: Mick and his journey losing his herd; Shelia and her inability to carry a child until having Clover; Tina and her work at the refuge, Gwen and being stood up at her wedding and Rocky…. Yeah just more about him. We, as readers are given snippets, but I wanted more information, more meat on the bones.
I loved the story of Emily and Jonathan. As a new, first time mum I cried for Emily when giving up her daughter. The words Vanessa uses to describe their last night together broke me… ” I was in a complex tangle of joy and fear, committing every little bit of you to memory so I would never forget so much as an eyelash; a fingernail. My love – our love– was so pure and fierce, but it was tangled up with terror and anxiety.” And then when I wasn’t a total mess thinking of the heartbreak she must be going through, I was finished by the author simply saying, “You held my finger throughout that last night. I don’t know how I managed to sleep, but you didn’t let it go.”
I held on to my little girl a little tighter.
Despite this horrific incident and others which I won’t mention, the book manages to make everything better and happy.
Thank you for the pleasure of reading this book of happy families.