Back of the book :
Four university friends, four devastating secrets.
I’m really sorry for what I’m about to do…
It’s fifteen years since graduation, and Connie, Jonas, JJ and Layla have managed to remain close despite the odds. They’ve supported each other, but are some things too big for friendship?
Connie is desperate to maintain the veneer of perfect family life.
Jonas is feeling the pressure at work.
Layla’s career is unravelling thanks to her ill mother
JJ’s past is catching up with him.
When they stumble and fall, who will be there to catch them?
What I think :
The book opens with a suicide note, then it cuts to a paramedic telling a friend of the person who has written the note to ‘prepare for the worst’ as it doesn’t look good.
The book then travels back to 2003, to four friends, Connie, Jonas, JJ and Layla. It’s graduation day, and they’re all looking forward to the future. They are all sitting around talking about being friends forever. Even Connie and JJ, who had a bit of a ‘thing’ recently couldn’t Imagine life without each other
Fast forward fifteen years and the four are still friends but things have changed a bit. Connie and Jonas are together and married with two daughters, Connie had a career as a journalist but now she looks after the girls and writes a blog. Jonas is a criminal solicitor and finds his job quite stressful. JJ is a personal trainer and very much ladies man, and Layla is a therapist with a mother who lives with her and is going slowly batty !
All four friends have secrets that they’d rather the others didn’t now about.
What will happen when those secrets come tumbling out …?
Will they all be there to catch each other or will they let them fall … ?
I really didn’t want to put this book down, I read it in a day. Brilliantly written, with really believable characters that could quite easily be your friends or mine. This book covers some quite difficult subjects such as, domestic violence, sexual abuse and dementia.
It takes us on a rollercoaster of emotions with all the highs and lows of friendship and a lot more besides. With a hint of a thriller in as much as its keeps you guessing as to which one of the four friends it was that tried to end their life.
Have a box of tissues ready for the end !
I give this fab book a well-earned 9/10. (5 stars)
Published on ebook by Canelo on 22/01/18.
A huge Thank you to Ellie Pilcher at Canelo for the advanced Digital copy of the book to review.
And here for your reading pleasure is an extract from the book.
I’m going to miss you all,’ Layla blurted out suddenly.
‘Aww, we’re going to miss you too,’ Connie said, leaning over to give Layla a clumsy hug.
Layla hugged her back. ‘I know. But Sussex isn’t that far from London, you know. We’ll still see each other loads. And I’ll be moving to London to be with you all as soon as I have this master’s under my belt.’
‘And having babies and getting married?’ Connie teased. Layla was very open about her desire to settle down once she had all her qualifications.
Layla pulled a face, but she laughed. ‘Yes. All of that.’ She did want all of that. And she hoped she wasn’t being naïve about hoping she could combine work with a happy marriage and kids.
‘And I’ll be completing my Legal Practise Course in a year,’ Jonas said. He was thrilled about the vocational stage of training he had coming up. He sipped a can of cider gingerly. He didn’t really like cider, but he wasn’t much of a drinker.
‘What else do you have to do?’ JJ asked, looking past Jonas’s shoulder at something. Or rather, someone. ‘Sounds like a whole lot of hard work to me.’
Jonas nodded. ‘It is, but it’s worth it. I need to train for two years after the LPC and then I can start working.’ He watched JJ watching a girl playing volleyball in the distance. So it looked as though he didn’t need to worry about JJ after all. Hopefully just a silly, fleeting infatuation. On both sides.
Connie snuck a glance at JJ and wondered what he was thinking. His expression was inscrutable, as always, but when he glanced at her suddenly, she found herself grinning at him for no particular reason.
JJ grinned back. What else could he do? And it was probably all for the best. He was a womaniser; he was known for it, in fact. Onwards and upwards. Connie was just one girl. There were so many girls out there; it couldn’t possibly be that he had met the best one already. Not at such a young age! And JJ felt that he deserved an easy life now. He deserved to be able to make his own choices and be… free. He paused briefly and, with practised ease, buried the thought.
‘To us,’ he said, chinking his can of cider against Connie’s. And then against Jonas’s as well, just in case his comment had sounded too personal.
‘To us,’ agreed Layla, joining in. ‘Let’s go and do all the stuff we’ve talked late into the night about doing.’
‘Look out, world,’ Connie said, wincing at her cheesiness.
‘Let’s always look out for one another,’ Jonas said, less cheesily and with more genuine feeling. ‘Let’s always have these friendships and look after one another.’
JJ propped his sunglasses onto his head. ‘Big whoopsie,’ he commented.
‘Yeah, yeah,’ Jonas threw back. ‘But are we agreed?’
‘Agreed,’ they all laughed in unison.
Connie and Layla leant in towards JJ and Jonas and they shared a naff group hug to mark the moment. Life was about to begin and they were starting it as great, great friends who had huge dreams and aspirations for the future. They had all just sworn to support each other through thick and thin.
All four of them were on the brink of amazing new lives. None of them could see any reason for life to be anything but fantastic and fulfilling. It was all there for the taking.