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From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes a story that asks: what would you risk for a shot at happiness?
1984. Bessie is a confident sixteen-year-old girl with the world at her feet, dreaming of what life will bring and what she’ll bring to this life. Then everything comes crashing down. Her bright and trusting smile is lost, banished by shame―and a secret she’ll carry with her for the rest of her life.
2021. The last thirty-seven years have not been easy for Bess. At fifty-three she is visibly weary, and her marriage to Mario is in tatters. Watching her son in newlywed bliss―the hope, the trust, the joy―Bess knows it is time to face her own demons, and try to save her relationship. But she’ll have to throw off the burden of shame if she is to honour that sixteen-year-old girl whose dreams lie frozen in time.
Can Bess face her past, finally come clean to Mario, and claim the love she has longed to fully experience all these years?
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“A brilliant read.” ―Bella
“Sometimes funny, sometimes raw but always emotional, this is an honest story of how one mistake can change a life.” ―The People’s Friend
“A perfect summer’s day read.” ―New! Magazine
“Raw and honest, the author is one who always writes from the heart.” ―The Sun
“A heart-warming and life-affirming story.” ―Woman Magazine
About the Author
Amanda Prowse is an international bestselling author of twenty-seven novels published in dozens of languages. Her chart-topping titles What Have I Done?, Perfect Daughter, My Husband’s Wife, The Coordinates of Loss, The Girl in the Corner and The Things I Know have sold millions of copies around the world.
Other novels by Amanda Prowse include A Mother’s Story, which won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the Year Award. Perfect Daughter was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016. She has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘the queen of family drama’.
Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today. Her titles consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres.
A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine show, as well as featuring on numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on national and independent radio stations, including LBC and talkRADIO, where she is well known for her insightful observations and infectious humour.
Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning off the bedside lamp at night, that ensure you walk every step with her great characters, and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (8 Jun. 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 317 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1542023432
- ISBN-13 : 978-1542023436
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.54 x 19.81 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 15,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 June 2021
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It's 22nd August 2021 and Bess is now fifty three, she is married to Mario and they have two children, Jake and Natalie but their relationship is failing. Jake has recently got married and watching him settling into married life, Bess knows, in order to save her own marriage, she must finally face the demons she's been hiding from for the last thirty seven years and reveal to her husband the secret that changed her world in 1984.
The story begins in 1984, with Bessie and her brother Philip on a train, their destination isn't revealed until much later in the book. We are then led on a journey which alternates between 1984 and 2021, and centres around her birthday in both timelines. It's a tale of huge aspirations, broken dreams, love, loss, secrets, lies, trust and betrayal and once again, at the hands of this hugely talented author, it's been told beautifully, with compassion and integrity. The chapters are seamless, the switching between the two timelines is faultless and the characters are brought to life so exquisitely that if they stepped out of those pages they would be as real as you and me. I was completely invested in this story, as I am with all the books I've read by this author, but more so in this one because it's my era, I was 16 in 1984, full of hope for my future too, now 53 and married with two children, that's where the similarities between Bess and myself end, but I found myself reminiscing about those years as a teenager and wondering, if I could rewind to 1984, would I have done anything different, maybe I'd have chosen a different career path, but that's the only thing I'd change. This story shows that life is what you make it, we all have choices and those choices map out our journey through life and make us the people we are today. As always with this author, I highly recommend this book but you will need tissues, it's an emotional read that had me smiling and crying throughout.
However weirdly the author has the character as a 16 year old in the 80s using the language of a teen now, eg “Wtaf” we didn’t use those phrases then!! I kept spotting those inconsistencies.
Also the class stereotyping was totally overdone. Really lazy stereotyping actually, which for me means lazy writing. Because the dad was working class he had to talk about poos and farts? Seriously???
Overall a good book if you can get past the slightly amateurish feel to the writing.
The lack of planning of the plot meant that what should have constituted a third of the book as Bessie recovered her relationship with Mario was lightly glossed over with they had a few chats and now it’s all wonderful. Next time plan your plot Amanda so you have enough time to actually finish the story. If you hadn’t been writing about the cheese and tomato sandwiches you might have had room to explore how you reconstruct a 30 year marriage after a devestating revelation.
Unfortunately when I start a book I have to finish it so this has been a most irritating, annoying, tenth grating book read experience but at least I’ll never read a book by this author again, the name is stuck in my head.
I found it to be interesting with tragic, sad and also happy events in it.
I felt the pain that Bessie goes through in the story, as I have been through similar situations and at exactly the same ages.
The author at times writes brilliantly, truly capturing emotions, but then at other times in quite a bland way.
What I did not like was that some of the words that were used by the two main characters, during 1984, were not words that were used back then, especially by those of the same age at that time. I know because I am exactly the same ages as Bessie and Michelle in the story.
Some of the words that they used are words that have only been created in recent years, and therefore were never said back in 1984.
I also felt that the book, starts off very well and continues that way, until the final few chapters, where it seems as though the Author wanted to hurry up and get it finished quickly, and did not put enough of an effort it, as she did in the the rest of the book.
I also didn't like the way, it happened to have a happy all round ending for everyone. It was all too perfect. I felt let down by the ending.
Maybe I am miserable though? ha