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I recently borrowed this book from the library and read it in two days, I just couldn’t put it down. The main character in the book is Eloise Hamilton who had always lived in London with her husband and three daughters, however her husband Mark finally persuades the family to move to Dartmouth near to where he was born and where his family still lived, which she initially dreads but after considering the needs and wishes of the whole family she makes her decision to go along with it.
Sara is her best friend in London who is married to Charlie and they have been unsuccessfully tried for a baby for a long time, both naturally and more recently with IVF which they have tried several times however unfortunately this hasn’t been successful. The longing for a baby completely takes over Sara’s life and it is quite clear from the beginning that she will go to any lengths to become pregnant.
When Eloise and Mark make the move to Dartmoor they discover that Mark’s mom Margaret is starting to suffer from dementia and this is portrayed very well and sympathetically. There are some quite comical moments such as when Margaret is supposed to bake an apple pie with lavender cream for one of Eloise’s dinner parties as she hasn’t got time, however this is definitely not what turns up, but needless to say this doesn’t ruin the evening. But you can empathise with her as it is clear that she really isn’t aware of what she is doing which she is increasingly frustrated about, as she knows that she isn’t doing things right but just can’t work out why and she really just wants to do her best for the family. Margarets husband Ray does his very best to look after her as do the rest of the family but there are certain events in the story which makes everyone realise that she may need a bit of extra support. However it is Margaret who in total innocence drops a couple of bombshells throughout the book which she doesn’t really realise the implications of or understand what effect they are going to have on the family.
What I like about this book is that the relatively short chapters are divided into months which I found made it easier to understand the time scales throughout the story. There are quite a few twists and turns and the ending is definitely not what I thought it was going to be and one which I am sure will shock most readers. I think it is a well written book and it deals compassionately with sensitive subjects such as dementia and infertility. An easy reading book which is beautifully written about life choices and their consequences and one which I highly recommend.