A beautiful, sensitive and thought-provoking read about who we really want to spend time with when we know that our time is limited. This also hit very close to home as the ladies in the book are only very slightly younger than I am and these types of issues are similar to the ones that I’m having to think about rather more than I’d like to these days!
Harrie has booked a summer holiday at a gorgeous old priory that’s being restored on the Somerset coast and has invited her two oldest, closest friends to spend it with her. But she has an ulterior motive: this will be the last summer that she gets to see and she wants to take this opportunity for them to reconnect, reminisce and recapture their unique, special friendship.
This is such a poignant and relevant story that raises all those ‘what if?’ questions we tend to avoid. Written with empathy but managing not become over-emotional and gushy, Connelly writes about the depth of female friendships and the lengths that women go to for each other, through thick and thin, no matter what. The friendships that we form with our girlfriends cannot be explained or understood. Regardless of disagreements, misunderstandings, upset and anger, when push comes to shove, we know who we can count on and who will be there for us. The author captures all of this perfectly here and you will find yourself nodding your head as you read, with tears streaming silently down your face.
I found such a touch of melancholy in the contrast between the restoration being done on the Priory, compared to the decline in Harrie’s life. Something was being restored and renewed, whereas her life was waning, coming to an end and the same couldn’t be done for her.
Although the underlying subject matter is admittedly grim, this isn’t a book about illness. It’s not depressing or dull in any way. It is a celebration of life and of friendship. It reminds us to live each day and to revel and rejoice, not only on special, large occasions but also in the small everyday things. Appreciate what we have and who we have, and never take anything for granted. Tell the people in our lives that we love them, and what they mean to us, without expecting anything in return.
A sunny, bright 5 stars for this beautiful life-affirming book!
Victoria Connelly studied English literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens.
She is the author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.
Ms Connelly loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden, with either a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.
Her website is http://www.victoriaconnelly.com, and readers can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaDarcy and on Instagram @VictoriaConnellyAuthor.
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