I received this book for free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Wow. What a pleasant surprise for my first read of the New Year. This is a story of friendship, first love, loss, and heartache. It was a beautiful story and when I finished, I could not help to compare the writing style to my favorite author, Wally Lamb. It was a story of everyday normal life, but it is told in a grand, multilayered, epic fashion. There are many small stories being told throughout that come full circle in the end. I love this, as it makes all the small, seemingly unimportant things so important in the end.
“The thing is Lulu, growing up like that, you can’t help but become a crack slipper, someone who slips through the cracks of other people’s lives, you know, riding your pushbike around the neighborhood, always looking for somewhere to park the bloody thing, someone to let you in.”
Tallulah and Annabelle’s friendship is the forefront of the story. We follow them from their first meeting at the age of 12 well into adulthood. They both have complicated family situations at home that strengthen their bond. Their relationship takes an ugly turn and their lives are separate, but their bond is always there. The relationships that Tallulah has with everyone else in her life are just as complex and important. She was an awesome character and even for all of her flaws she is extremely likable.
I can’t say enough good things about this story. All of the characters are multi-dimensional and their relationships are believable. Tallulah and Annabelle’s friendship is relatable. Even amongst best friends there can be a sense of rivalry and jealousy. The side characters in the story, no matter how prominent, are still vibrant and their personalities are all distinctive and palpable. The story itself is fantastic. The blurb only gives away one aspect of this story. There is so much more. Every facet comes together in the end to make this one amazingly beautiful story. It is funny, sweet, touching and serious all at once. If this is Francis Whiting’s first novel, I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us.
Four stars and a nice bottle of Reisling! Enjoy!