Back of the book :
It’s when life started in earnest,
HERTFORDSHIRE, 1928 –
The paths of Tom and Alice collide against a haze of youthful carefree exuberance. There’s champagne and excitement, but above all there’s the beginning of a love story that finds its feet by a lake one silvery moonlit evening …
It’s when love stories didn’t have happy endings,
PARIS, 1939 –
Alice is living in the city of light, but the pain of the last decade has already left its mark. There’s a shadow creeping across Europe when she and Thomas Stafford – now a world famous artist – find each other once more …
It’s when the story begins,
LONDON, 1986 –
Bestowed with an old portrait from her grandmother, Kate Darling can’t possibly imagine the secrets that have been lost to time. Katie’s journey takes her to Corsica, Paris and beyond, as time melts away she is catapulted into the heart of a love story that’s as epic as its life changing …
What I think :
The book is made up of sections, we travel back and forth in time, starting in 1928 and finishing in 1986.
The year is 1928, Alice and Tom find each other again at a party held by a mutual friend. They haven’t seen each other since they were small children. They were 6 years old when they holidayed in the same place, They spent 6 wonderful weeks together in Winnard Cove in Cornwall. Sadly they didn’t ever return as Alice’s father died and Tom’s went to war.
Kate’s story begins in 1986, her mother June has died, she was a very famous Prima Ballerina who had danced all over the world. She had been adopted when she was a small child by Evie Darling. Kate goes to visit her dying Grandmother one day and is told something quite upsetting, that June’s birth mother had tried to contact her but she kept it from her. The birth mother also sent Evie/June a small drawing of a woman by a lake, it is signed on the back ‘Celia’ which Evie gives to Kate. Sadly Evie dies soon after. After some checking, Kate discovers that the artist is Thomas Stafford and decides she wants to know more. She visits Tom in Corsica and finally he tells her the story of the drawing ….
This is such a wonderfully written book, however it has such a sad, bittersweet undercurrent running through it from start to finish. It tells of lost love and almost forgotten childhoods, and of things, however hard you try, not turning out how you would like them to or expect. Alice’s character is quite flirty and very brave, never thinking of herself, but always of others. Poor Tom is always compelled to do the ‘right’ thing who is never quite in control of his own destiny. Kate always seem’s so grown-up and in control, never quite sure if its o.k to have a bit of fun and live a little.
So brilliantly descriptive, in my minds eye, I have visited Corsica, Paris and Venice and have seen all wonderful place’s there.
The more I read, the more I didn’t want to put it down. Its one of those books that you are eager to read, but read it slowly because you never want it to end. Every time I was pulled back into the past I found out something new and intriguing about the two main characters.
There are a host of wonderful things I could quite easily say about this excellent book and believe me its such a brilliant read, but it would give far too much away, so all I’m going to say is that you really need this book in your life, so go to your nearest book shop now and buy this gorgeous book! Do have a box of tissues ready though, because the ending made me shed a few tears.
I give this truly brilliant book a very well deserved 10/10.
I would like to say a very BIG Thank you to the author of the book, Lucy Foley for sending me a signed copy of this book (and also the fab postcard, that I used as a bookmark.) when she found out that my local bookstores didn’t have any copies of it, she very kindly sent me a review copy from her own bookshelf. So again Thank you xxx
Published on 15/01/2015 By Harper Collins.