This is another review of a Netgalley book I read recently.
The review is a little late as the book is already out but I had to read it as it is by the wonderful Amanda Prowse, an author I reviewed earlier on in the year and loved called An Ordinary Life. It was a stunning read so I jumped at the chance to read this one.
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?
This was another wonderful read from Amanda. As you can see the book is based on two different times, 1984 and 2021 and focuses on Bess, a woman whose 16th birthday changed her life and not in a good way.
This is a story about how life can change in an instance, or in the case of Bess just one night, the night of her 16th birthday and how this can have a long term effect mentally and physically. Skip forward 37 years and we see a 53 year old Bess married, with 2 kids and not experiencing the life she thought she would have.
It is is an emotional rollercoaster ride throughout as we see Bess experiencing events that no one should ever have to go through and see how she reacts to them. At the beginning I didn’t empathise with her so much as she still had 2 wonderful children and a husband who loves her but as we find out more about her past you can’t help but feel bad for her.
I loved this novel, if you have read any of Amanda’s works you will really enjoy this. The main character is built up so well and you get to know her slowly throughout the novel. It is like peeling back the layers, with each chapter you learn more about her until the crescendo, the core and warning, it may break you a little. I shed quite a few tears so you may want to have tissues nearby.
Overall this was a beautiful, emotional story which highlighted important issues and makes you appreciate the little things in life more.
Thanks to netgalley and Amanda Prowse for giving me the opportunity to read and review this. I can’t wait to explore more of the writer’s collection.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – a fantastic read from start to finish, an emotional ride and a beautifully told story
Much love 💘