Reviewed by Kelly Allen
Robyn spends her days working with mental health patients – those that have had life altering experiences and some that even want to end their lives to set themselves free from all the pain. Robyn finds a way to help them, to change their lives and look to the future. However, one day, her ex-boyfriend Joe gets in touch and she is forced to confront her own demons.
Joe and Robyn were together when she was 16. Now, at 32, she is attending his mum’s funeral, but when they share a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, things lead one way and Robyn later finds out she is pregnant. This is a huge shock for Robyn who, at 16, found herself in exactly the same position with Joe.
Sadly, her first baby, Lily, was stillborn, and Robyn writes letters to her explaining the story of how she came to be as well as the story of her own deceased mother and the story of Joe. When Joe finds out about the second baby, he is ecstatic. He wants to be involved in everything and make a real go of a future with Robyn.
For Robyn, however, a haunting memory from her past threatens to ruin the future of her, Joe and her unborn child.
This book is full of charm, from the main character Robyn, who thinks she can save the world to Joe, an all-round great guy who is totally smitten with Robyn. Their relationship is strong all the way though, the dialogue realistic and their bond impenetrable. I really felt I understood them wholly, and I really felt empathy for both characters throughout.
Robyn is a very selfless person. In a way, she is always putting herself at more emotional risk, but I loved this trait and I loved her love for her patients. Her relationship with Grace is beautiful, well written and also the type of story that needs telling; much like Robyn’s own story.
Robyn’s tale is a fairly dark one, but it was interesting and important to read. It explained to me why so many of these events go unreported and why people become tormented by their past. I think this is something I could relate to, and it really made me bond with the main character.
I found the letters to baby Lily extremely moving – most of them brought me to tears. This was an especially moving and emotional element of the book. Robyn’s childhood memories were also really vivid and added to her strength of character. Obviously these are sensitive issues, but I really enjoyed them and they were handled with just the right amount of sensitivity.
Overall, this book is sweet and proves there is a light at the end of the tunnel – it’s facing up to the demons and moving forward that counts.