By Iona Grey
What a great book this is. I found it very hard to put down, but the closer I got to the end of the book I started to slow my reading pace as I just didn’t want it to end!
The story flits between the Roaring 20’s and the 1930’s. Where the country is slowly getting over WWI and just before WWII is on the horizon.
In 1925’s Selina Lennox and her friends were called “the Bright Young Things”. I guess in today society they would be know as the “it Crowd”. Wherever Selina and her friends went the camera’s followed. They were always in the newspapers, with photographs of them getting up to things that the older generation looked down on, but that never stopped them.
Most nights you would see them drinking copious amounts of cock-tales and champagne, before they either went on to parties or carried on to paint the town red. At one particular party she bumps in Laurence Weston who she had met previously when she was a damsel in distress. Laurence is a poor talented artist who paints portraits of deceased sons of the rich who died fighting in WWI, but his biggest passion is photography.
Selina and Laurence spend as many stolen moments with each other, behind her family and friends backs, as nobody can find out she’s spending her time with a man below her station. Selina and Laurence manage to spend one prescious week together at her familys home, as the rest of them have gone to Scotland for the summer.
However Selina ends up marrying her dead brothers best friend as he vowed that he would look after her and he could give her everything that she could ever want. The night before the wedding she meets up with Laurence one last time.
Then we start to flit to the 1930’s and to Selina’s daughter story. Alice is nine years old and has gone to live with her mothers parents, while her mother and father travel to the Far East. As her father has business to deal with out there and he needs his wife with him.
While Alice is staying with her grandparents she feels so alone and unloved. The only person that shows her any warmth or love is her mothers old ladies made, who agreed to go and care for Alice.
The only thing that keeps Alice going are the secret letters she is sending and receiving from her mother. As the letters progress Selina sends Alice on a treasure hunt, which is Selina’s way of telling her daughter about the man (Laurence) who she really loved.
The further Alice gets on her treasure hunt it becomes obvious that everything isn’t as Alice has been lead to believe, and it explains why her father and grandparents treat her in the way they do.
This is such an epic love story, and so well written that you are dragged into the characters highs and lows. I could have gone in to far more depth about this book, but I feel it would spoil it for those yet to read it and reading it is a must if you enjoy historical fiction and romance.
Pages: 480. Publication Date: 30 May 2019. My Rating: