Back of the book :
Flora’s been in love with her husband for twenty years. The trouble is, he’s been married to someone else for the past fifteen . . .
Now she’s been invited to spend the summer in the shady lanes and sandy coves of Cornwall. It should be blissful.
There’s just one small snag: she’ll be staying with her former mother-in-law, Belinda.
And Flora discovers she’s not the only one invited when her ex-husband shows up out of the blue, complete with his new wife. So now there are two small snags.
Can Flora spend the summer playing happy families with the woman who stole her husband’s heart, and the mother-in-law who might have had a hand in it?
Or will stumbling on the family secret change her mind about them all?
What I think :
Flora loves her husband, the only problem is that they have been divorced for fifteen years ! Her husband Hugo has remarried and has 2 more children (Flora and Hugo have a son Peter together) Flora cant seem to to be able to get over Hugo and move on. So maybe it wasn’t such a good idea for her to spend the whole summer at her ex in-laws house in Cornwall. Her ex mother in-law, Belinda has asked her to paint a portrait of Hugo’s father Roger.
She has her best friend Celia with her and they’re not going to to be staying at the main house ,but in a little holiday let down the road so it wont be too bad … Also Hugo and his new wife Christina are sailing aboard for the summer, so there’s no chance of bumping into them … what can go wrong?
A lot it would seem, as when they arrive Tommy Rochester and his latest squeeze is there (Hugo’s best friend and Flora secretly blames Tommy in part for her and Hugo’s break-up.) And then her worst nightmare happens, Hugo and his wife and two shiny new children are at the house also.
Will Flora be able to be around the man she has loved for so long unrequitedly for the whole summer ?
Then a family secret is exposed, can she finally use this time to move on from him … ?
Its seems like forever since Catherine’s last novel, but in my opinion it was really worth the wait.
This is an epic of a family saga, with loads of brilliant characters. I especially liked Flora and also Babs who I really loved. even although I wasn’t very struck on Belinda she was marvelously written and she reminded me of a few people I’ve met over the years !
I did think however, that it wasn’t quite as the back of the book describes, hilarious wouldn’t be a word that I would choose to describe it. I found it quite serious in places if I’m honest. But that said, I thought it was a good novel, just not something that I’d take to the beach for an easy read.
With a quite brilliant twist quite close to the end, which was something I wasn’t expecting. I give this book a 9\10 (5 Stars)
Published on 13\06\19 by Michael Joseph (Penguin random House)
A big thank you to Sriya Varadharajan at Penguin for the review copy of the book in return for a honest review 🙂