Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Penguin Books (first published January 10th 2008)
ISBN 0143121103 (ISBN13: 9780143121107)
Of all the JoJo Moyes books I’ve read this one probably falls right in the middle as far as how I felt about it. I didn’t absolutely love it as much as I loved Me Before You but I didn’t dislike it as much as I did Silver Bay. I enjoyed the story she told but I felt like it was a bit too slow at times and the sudden shift in tone more than half way through the book was a little, strange.
The book starts off from Jennifer Stirling’s point-of-view after waking up from an accident and losing her memory. You follow her as she pieces her life back together to try and figure out exactly who she is. Then eventually there is a massive time jump from the 60’s to the early aughts and the story is picked back up by journalist Ellie Haworth.
I actually was excited about the two different perspectives and I think I would have even enjoyed it more had we heard from Ellie from the very beginning. I don’t even know if the jumping back and forth in time would have worked (though it has been done before) but I just felt like it would have given her a little more time and wouldn’t have been such a drastic change in the middle of the book.
The story itself is a classic romance novel in that it has all the elements of forbidden love, infidelity, longing, and you know. The whole nine yards when it comes to these kind of love stories. It’s nothing new but it kept my attention enough to keep reading.Although the novel does start off painfully slow. That’s one of my biggest complaints about it is that it took a while for me to really go okay now I’m invested and I need to know what’s going on with these characters. I got there eventually but it took me a while.
I enjoyed the observations of relationships and the way they are different yet very much the same in the mid 60s and then the early 00s. Ellie’s relationships didn’t get as much time to be fleshed out but it was interesting to compare her to Jennifer during such different time periods.
The ending of the novel was almost worth the entire read for me. I almost think if the ending hadn’t come together the way it did I would have ended up feeling differently about this book but I truly loved the way it ended. It was satisfying and a truly beautiful look at the love we don’t always get to keep.