Having read and loved Recipes for Melissa by the same author, I just had to get hold of this book.
Katie has been sleepwalking through life. Where she once had a happy, bustling life, she now had a shell of a life. Empty, with hours at hand with nothing but her thoughts. So empty that she took to getting on tourist bus tours and escaping the reality of her life for a few hours. On one such tour she spots a strange woman knotting something in lemon yellow.
Martha has secrets of her own, ghosts of her own past that continue to haunt her. Kate and Martha strike up an unlikely friendship. So much so that Kate offers Martha a room to stay at her house, much to Toby, her husband’s surprise. Kate and Toby have problems of their own. Since they lost their son, they’ve grown far apart. Kate seems to be unable to let go. Her demons seem to want to keep her in her dark place.
Matthew is a teenager who has just found out that everything he knew about his life is actually a lie. He has runaway from home and all he wants is a way to find out the truth.
As the story unfolds we get to feel the pain, the loneliess and the desolation that the characters go through, the secrets that they are hiding within themselves.
Will they ever be able to overcome the burdens of their secrets, would something change for them? Wish I could say more but that would spoil the book for you.
A beautiful story with the most richest of characters and events. I especially loved the characterisation, they all for in so well with the story. The story line progresses via narratives about several characters. Martha, Josef, Matt, Kate. Each slowly connecting to the main story. One that will not fail to touch you. A story that brings to light the predicament of unmarried young women just a few decades ago and the brutal methods adopted in treatment of mental health patients. It’s heart breaking to read. It touched me a little more as it brought back memories from a time when we lived in a development which had the ruins of what looked like a beautiful majestic building in the middle. When I first moved there, I was told by locals that it had been a mental hospital which also housed unmarried pregnant girls at one time because there was no place for them to go. I had never realised then that it might not have been a one off, but quite a routine thing to do. I was so glad of the way the book ended, although as the author herself says, it isn’t always this happy an ending for most people.
A beautiful book that I can wholeheartedly recommend. A story of the bond between mothers and children, undying love as well as friendships found in the most unlikely of situations. A book I would love to re-read and gift.
My rating: 4.5/5
Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for the review copy of this book.
About the Author
Teresa Driscoll is a former BBC TV news presenter with 25 years’ experience across newspapers, magazines and broadcasting. After training as a newspaper reporter, she joined Thames TV for five years before 15 years as the anchor of the BBC’s south west regional TV news programme Spotlight.
Teresa has been writing short stories for a range of national magazines for a decade and has tutored creative writing with the support of Arts Council England.
Recipes for Melissa – her debut novel – was auctioned at the Frankfurt Book Fair and has already sold in six languages.