So I’ll be continuing the Reviews fun from my heat days on here and will be sticking up as much as possible by way of music, books and anything else that might be interesting. Being on a winter holiday has made this a bit hard so far because no PRs really want to send a pile of CDs or books all the way to Sri Lanka – but I was lucky enough to get sent the latest Harrie Evans’ novel, Love Always, before I left London. The review is below.
Love Always by Harriet Evans
Harper Collins, 12.99
Published: 20 January 2011
You may know Harriet from her previous offerings – I Remember You, Going Home, The Love Of Her Life and A Hopeless Romantic. I read I Remember You while at heat and absolutely loved it. So when the proof copy for Love Always, unbelievably huge and prettily-covered, arrived in the post, I was most excited. And it was definitely worth the wait… Taking a determined path away from traditional fluffy chick lit, it doesn’t take long for Harriet to establish the main characters of the story as intelligent, strong and identifiable. Natasha Kapoor, who sits at the centre of the novel, is instantly likeable – she’s a jeweller in East London and she’s pretty, has a loving family and a husband she adores.
Except, everything isn’t as perfect as it may seem – her husband has actually just let her down massively and her grandmother has passed away, which means Natasha has to make the long journey down to Summercove in Cornwall – where her family home is – alone and for the funeral. Just as things appear like they couldn’t get any worse, all the fabulous childhood memories from Summercove come crashing down around Natasha as she realises there is a lot she doesn’t know about her seemingly lovable family. And when her Grandfather gives her a part of her deceased aunt Cecily’s diary, which was written in the summer of 1963, Nat realises there are many secrets being kept by everyone she loves. Flitting between the present day and the tales from Cecily’s diary in 1963, Harriet’s writing captures the feelings of lust, excitement, jealousy and helplessness that have overtaken the Kapoor family over the last fifty years – and when that hint of a more sinister story comes in, you’ll find it impossible to put the book down until every last word of the 502 pages have been absorbed, re-read and pondered. In fact, trying to figure with whom the real secrets lie is the most exciting part. Such a thoughtful and exciting read – be prepare to be hooked. (* * * * and a half)