It's never too late for a second chance
The concept of going back is an interesting one and begs the question whether it’s ever a good idea to allow oneself the luxury of remembering times that are over and gone. For Elizabeth Kelly, her daughter, Janey’s, decision to spend a summer in the Brighton area of Boston in the United States, brings back memories of her own time of living and working in the city as a twenty-one year old in the 1980s. At home in Dublin, Elizabeth recalls this time with mixed emotion, as not only was it the first time she had lived away from home, but it was also the summer she fell in love. What then follows is the story of Elizabeth’s American love affair with the handsome and charismatic Danny Esposito, of the life experiences she shared with her group of friends and of the need they all had to escape from the realities of life for just one idyllic summer.
I was captivated by the story from the beginning and warmed immediately to Elizabeth’s character. I loved both her naivety and her insecurities and completely understood that for one perfect moment in time, away from her home and family, and the seriousness of her relationship with her Irish boyfriend, Liam, she was able to experience all that life had to offer without any of the responsibilities. By comparison, Danny is a complete charmer, his attractiveness and uncomplicated joie de vivre, is in direct contrast to Elizabeth’s more considered attitude to life.
The author writes with warmth and sensitivity and injects just the right amount of nostalgia and humour into the story. She paints a realistic picture of living life in the 1980s and then brings it bang up to date with Janey’s own personal story in Boston in 2011. The interweaving of past and present is done in a sympathetic way and there is a realistic drawing together of all the loose strands, until in the end the story comes together just the way you would want it to.
This is an impressive debut novel by an author who clearly loves writing stories. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.
My thanks to the author for sharing her novel with me. Come back tomorrow to read an interview with Rachael English and for a chance to win a copy of Going Back.