14 July 2016
A Bit of Blurb...
Can you ever outrun the past?
It's Zoe's wedding day. She's about to marry Jamie, the love of her life. Then a phone call comes out of the blue, with the news that her mum Gina has been arrested. Zoe must make an impossible decision: should she leave her own wedding to help?
Zoe hasn't seen Gina for years, blaming her for the secret that she's been running from ever since she was sixteen. Now, Gina is back in her life, but she's very different to the mum Zoe remembers. Slowly but surely, Gina is losing her memory.
As she struggles to cope with Gina's illness, can Zoe face up to the terrible events of years ago and find her way back to the people she loves?
I'm not sure that there are many brides who would consider leaving their own wedding, not once the dress is on, the band is striking up and the champagne is flowing but that's the dilemma which is facing Zoe on her wedding day. Why she has this awful decision to make is something which is revealed in the early part of the book and what then follows is an emotional look at the ties that bind us and of how fate often intervenes when we least expect it.
I wasn't really expecting the depth of story in this one, and that took me completely unawares as, and apologies to the author, I thought it was going to be a bit of a fluffy sort of read, but I was so completely wrong that I feel that my words won't really do the story justice. Trying to analyse what the book is all about is difficult without revealing whopping big spoilers, so what I will say is that really it’s a story about love, it’s about forgiveness and the possibility of a second chance and it’s all tangled up in the whole complicated business of relationships; namely between a mother and her children, between families, between lovers old and new, and also of learning to carry on regardless of what life throws at you.
In parts it’s a difficult story to read as it covers the whole gamut of emotions which control our thought processes and what happens when these thought processes become fuddled and hazy and in this respect the author has it completely spot on, but there are also some much welcome lighter moments which made me smile and I appreciated the thoughtfulness of the author in granting this heart-breaking story some much needed moments of light and shade.
I enjoyed watching as the story progressed, hoping against hope that everything would work out, of course, whether it does or not is up to you to find out for yourself, but what I will say is that by the end of the novel I was an emotional wreck and in much need of some restorative toast.
Best Read with ...Happy bites of toast liberally spread with Nutella and a celebratory sparkle of champagne.
Katie Marsh's debut novel, My Everything was published to fantastic reviews and was chosen by the Evening Standard as one of the best summer debuts of 2015. A Life without You is her second novel.
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My thanks to Emma at Hodder for my review copy of this book.