Love and Devotion by Erica James

Harriet Swift, a  32 year old computer programmer, living a happy, settled life in Oxford is jolted out of her comfort zone when her sister dies. A few years ago, Felicity, her sister had got her to promise that should anything happen to Felicity and her husband, Harriet would look after her children.

Harriet, is at a total loss. She has no maternal instincts, and has no clue how to handle two young children. To add to that she has to give her life, as she knew it, to relocate to where her parents live, to be able to look after her niece and nephew. She needs her parents to help with this task, but it isn’t easy on any one of them.

To add to it all, her parents seem to be having trouble in their relationship, and she discovers that her sister Felicity was not all that she seemed to be.

Will Hart, is a middle-aged divorced man, with two teenage daughters. He is also leading a well ordered life, and wants nothing to change it. He find out that his older daughter is pregnant, and he plays peace maker between his former wife and daughter, to ensure that his daughter is allowed to make her own decisions, without her mother forcing her into anything. Tragedy strikes and nothing is same again.

A sweet story, a book that leaves you feeling happy at the end. It makes you feel for the characters, wishing that everything could just turn out right. The way the little children face their loss is handled so beautifully, and it feels very real. Little Carrie’s bravado, and Joel’s insecurity, and Harriet’s handling of it all, is very well portrayed.

It is mainly about how people cope with loss, how some go strong, some find other avenues to run away from the grief.. And how things do fall back into place, eventually.

A nice read, a sweet story. Something to curl up and have a ‘comfort read’, if you know what I mean.