I was lucky enough to be given an advanced copy of this to review by my wonderful book industry insider friend. As it was a debut book for Lucy Foley I had no expectations at all – which is often a more exciting way to start a book!
This is what Amazon had to say about it:
“In many ways, my life has been rather like a record of the lost and found. Perhaps all lives are like that.
It’s when life started in earnest.
Hertfordshire, 1928 – The paths of Tom and Alice collide against a haze of youthful, carefree exuberance. There’s champagne and excitement, but above all there’s the beginning of a love story that finds its feet by a lake one silvery moonlit evening . . .
It’s when love stories didn’t have happy endings.
Paris, 1939 – Alice is living in the city of light, but the pain of the last decade has already left its mark. Against the shadow that sweeps across Europe, she and Thomas Stafford – now a world famous artist – meet once more . . .
It’s when the story begins.
London, 1986 – Bestowed with an old portrait drawing from her grandmother, Kate Darling can’t possibly imagine the secrets that have been lost to time. Kate’s journey takes her to Corsica, Paris and beyond, and as time melts away she is catapulted into the heart of a love story that’s as epic as it is life changing . . .
Sweeping and heartrending – the perfect read for fans of Victoria Hislop and Kate Morton. ”
Now this book jumps between time periods – as you can see from the above – but it does it in a free flowing, telling of the story kind of way – it is not a regimented one chapter here, one there routine. Also – the chapters vary massively in length – which I love – and adds to the suspense. It is BEAUTIFULLY written, and really evokes the settings of the story – and makes me want to hop on a plane to Paris and Corsica very soon – and the bits in New York reminded me of our recent trip.
I really liked lots of the characters and wanted to see how their paths developed. There are lots of twists and turns but the whole story flows wonderfully – and I think it would make a fabulous film with some amazing backdrops to the story (although actually, maybe a film wouldn’t do it as much justice as the pictures in my own head from the thoughtful and descriptive words).
I have to confess to crying at the end – and the ending wasn’t what I expected – but in retrospect was just perfect. With about 4 chapters to go I did wonder how it would all get wrapped up – but it does.
I would definitely recommend pre-ordering this ready for its release in January 2015 – and look forward to more books by Lucy Foley in the future.