University librarian, Beryl Gray, is in a job in which she is seriously over qualified for, but enjoys doing. She also has a very low opinion of herself, thanks to outside interference. She’s the person everyone relies on. Work colleagues, friends, family and her partner Claire. Claire is a control freak. Unfortunately, others see this, but Beryl doesn’t. She thinks she’s happy in their eight year relationship. Until one day, Beryl finds out the truth about Claire.
Aggie Bishop hasn’t been dating since her girlfriend left her three years previously. In fact, her life is one round of her work as a teacher and watching over her feisty, independent, great aunt Cory, who is active and in her nineties.
Cory lived alone in the run down family mansion until Aggie moved in to be with her. The rest of the family want Cory put into a care facility and the mansion sold. Neither Cory or Aggie are about to let that happen.
When Beryl comes across a book with an inscription in it from back in 1945, she is curious to find out who the two women were. Little does Beryl know that the acquisition of this book will change her life, and the as yet unmet, Cory’s and Aggie’s lives forever.
It appears that not only a book, but a moldering mansion, and a love spanning decades and to eternity and beyond will have a huge impact in the lives of Cory, Beryl and Aggie.
This book is an absolute page turner from start to finish. In my honest opinion, it is a blockbuster. The well written story seamlessly traverses the decades of time, going back and forth from past to present to give the reader all the relevant background on the characters and their stories.
Central to the story is the Bishop mansion, a character in itself. I could feel the atmospheric warmth interspersed with cold radiating from the pages.
The one thing that shone through in this story throughout the entire book, is that love is an all time consuming passion that will withstand almost anything, even death if your partner is your soul mate.
Caren Werlinger is a terrific writer and a wonderful master storyteller. This book is full of love, happiness, sadness, even anger at times. To be able to feel the emotions of the characters when reading about them, means the author has got the dialogue just right.
Aunt Cory, Beryl, Aggie, Ridley and all the secondary characters are multidimensional and so easy to get to know and love. I love the humor throughout too. It gives the story a light hearted touch just where it’s needed.
There are two love stories entwined together in this book. One past and one present. It’s the effect that the past has on the present, that for me, was a joy to behold.
This story will join the rest of Caren’s books in my re-read folder. I’m now looking forward to her next book eagerly.
(reviewed 36 days after purchase)