A story of 4 friends, a story of friendship and family, a story haunted by secrets, a story of betrayal, a story of forgiveness, a story of reaffirmation of deep bonds
This book follows the lives of 4 women, best friends since college, the hills and valleys of their lives, their happiness and sadness, their actions and reactions. Cutting the core are the secrets which seems to abound in every chapter. Sophia, Melissa, Emily and Amy meet up for girls’ weekend every year and we as readers get to know their family and their lives, both hidden and evident ones.
Helen Warner’s debut brought a strange excitement and eagerness in me to read the story of these women. Somewhere their history seemed to resonate deep in my history too. Helen, in her book, at the beginning of every chapter, starts with an incident of World News, then goes on to describe the lives of these women. That was a pleasant way of writing and it made me think as to what I was doing in that particular year. So the book also allowed me to reminiscent about my life. Somehow the story of our lives also played a part in thinking about the story of my life
Inspite of each chapter being titled to a year, it never felt as if we have missed out on anything in their lives. There is a smooth flow of narration. I loved the way the author has developed all the 4 women, they are distinctive, their voices strong at times, vulnerable at times, their strengths binding them. But it is their flaws which makes them lovable and so real. The group dynamics ebb and flow like the waves on the beach, and that is mesmerising.
The author, Helen Warner, also deals with a sensitive topic of domestic violence and mental abuse. I wanted to tell the character to leave her partner, stand up for herself. But I realized that sometimes it is not a simple situation. The equation of life is complex and has too many variables in it. Helen has given us a lot to think about.
A book on friendship, which may follow the same clichéd feel, still had the power to entertain me, keep me happy, make me think, and allow me to immerse into the lives of these women. So I would say — A job well done, as this is what a book is supposed to do.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher HQ, and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
My rating : 4 stars
About the Author
Helen Warner is a former Head of Daytime at both ITV & Channel 4, where she was responsible for a variety of TV shows including Come Dine With Me, Loose Women, Good Morning Britain and Judge Rinder. Helen writes her novels on the train to work in London from her home in Essex, which she shares with her husband and their two children
Four friends. Twenty years. One powerful secret.
Everyone remembers where they were on 31st August 1997, the day Princess Diana died.
Sophie, Emily, Amy and Melissa certainly do -– a beautiful cottage in Southwold, at the start of an annual tradition to have a weekend away together.
Every year since, the four best friends have come back together. But over time the changes in their lives have led them down very different paths. And it’s when those paths collide that the secrets they’ve been keeping come tumbling out.
Publication date : 8th February, 2018
Publisher : HQ
Language : English
Available on Amazon
A timeless friendship