Reviewed by Kay Brooks
A new family was born when Rachel’s father fell in love with Becca’s mother. Unfortunately, the girls were less keen to see it that way. Now Rachel’s beloved father has passed away, both women have accepted they will never be close and gone their separate ways. Becca is having a tough time finding her place in the world. She doesn’t have a career, a place of her own or love. Rachel, on the other hand, has always seemed perfect to Becca; she has an impressive career, a big house, three darling children and an adoring husband. It’s only when Rachel, on a mystery mission to Manchester, goes missing and Becca is called in to take over at home that she realises her ex-stepsister’s life has piece by piece started to fall apart. With no close friends, rebelling children and an absentee husband, Rachel’s life is unrecognizable. Becca needs to start putting the pieces together to find out where Rachel is and what has happened to the perfect life she was once so jealous of.
Whenever I receive a Lucy Diamond novel for reviewing I know I am in for a treat. The main characters are always created with love, flaws and all, so I find myself firmly in their corner. Extra characters are woven into the plot naturally, showing the strengths and weaknesses of humanity. As with the previous novels, I found myself carried along and absorbed into the plot.
Becca and Rachel couldn’t be more different from each other. What is more interesting is how their own views of each other contrasts with their self-perceptions. Becca sees herself as being a bit of a failure. Sharing a flat with Meredith, a girl obsessed with historical reenactments, and bouncing from job to job isn’t anything she sees to be proud of. Rachel sees Becca as having freedom and being wild, especially in terms of men. Little does she know, there haven’t been any men on the scene for a while.
Becca views her step-sister as being the successful, beautiful and thin one who has always been too cold to accept Becca as part of her life. Rachel sees herself as being far less attractive than her controlling ex-husband and as a bit of an island, gossiped about by her ex-colleagues and the mothers in the schoolyard, with no real friends she can trust.
When the sisters are reunited, sparks start to fly. Rachel is still furious at Becca for what she sees as being Becca’s part in ruining her marriage. Becca, having looked after Rachel’s children and attempted to keep Rachel’s fledgling fitness-coaching company going, feels unappreciated and desperate to return to the strange but friendly Meredith. Unfortunately for both of them, Rachel needs Becca if she is to recover and regain her life. For the next few weeks, they are forced to live and work together, which could lead to them finally discovering the true meaning of being sisters or it could destroy the tangible link they still have to each other.
Another amazing read from Lucy Diamond, warm and emotional, and full of moments of kindness, realization and self-discovery. I loved it.