Review by Corinna Christopher live on bookshow 21st March
This novel has two time scales which are obviously linked together to give a clever tale.
It is 2003 and Ellie Haworth a journalist for a national paper is having an affair with a married man John . She should be happy but somehow her career is not going too well and she is feeling dissatisfied. Her paper is moving to a new office and the librarian clearing the decks has landed her with some old papers and files to look through. Whilst most of them are of no interest she suddenly comes across a hand-written letter of over 40 years ago. It is a poignant love letter with an assignation at Paddington station.
We then go back to 1960 and the life of Jennifer Stirling. She is married to Lawrence and wealthy businessman and lives a life of luxury. However, there is very little real love between them and Lawrence is cold and unfeeling, only interested in Jenny looking beautiful at social gatherings.
AnthonyO’Hare is also a journalist and in due course comes across Jenny. They have an attraction straight away and over time a string of heart-felt letters are sent to Jenny. As part of the plot Jenny is involved in a serious car accident which causes her to loose her memory so that she is unable to remember who sent her the letters. They are unable to make any connection and after a break in her marriage she returns to Lawrence and has a child Esme and continues to act a wifely part.
As the story goes on we find out what happens to Ellie and how she solves the mystery of the love letters which result in the entwining of the two women’s lives.
To begin with I found the book a little slow to get going but gradually it improved and towards the end there were some interesting twists and a satisfactory conclusion. The passionate letters interspersed throughout the book were written in a different script which helped the sense of mystery. This author always seems to deliver an intriguing story and this was no exception, a thoroughly enjoyable romantic read.