Work has been her saviour and she is carving out a career for herself as a pretty good Jewellery designer. Her creations are very much a part of her. Her designs are all an expression of her personality. In a weird way she has John to thank for this business. He created this artist within her.
But... it’s almost three years on and Beth’s contented in a relationship with safe and reliable Rory. That is until her best friend and John’s sister, Alice, announces that she and Dan are getting married. Beth’s life is turned upside down again when John is asked to be the best man to her chief Bridesmaid.
In the middle of all this Beth’s parents are moving to Nerja in Spain and out of the blue offer Beth and Rory to move into their home. Rent free. What excuse could she possibly have not to do move in with Rory? None, until she finds him one night in an unthinkable situation.
When she comes face to face with John after three years she makes some truly awful life decisions. It’s time to face what’s really in her heart. What she always knew.
As Margaret at Bleachhouselibrary is doing an Irish Fiction Fortnight to highlight and promote Irish authors I was more than happy to join in as regular followers of the blog will know I am a huge fan of Irish fiction and did my own feature month back in March 2012. The toughest choice to make was which of the many books by Irish authors to read so to begin with I've chosen one from my Kindle, I Always Knew by Caroline Grace-Cassidy that was kindly sent to me last Summer by Ailbhe at Poolbeg.
The blurb above more or less covers most of the main topics that are featured in the book, heartbreak and new beginnings. Throughout it all Beth and Alice have always been there for each other, in the good times and the bad, and as the novel progresses they both have important roles to play as their lives are turned upside down by some traumatic events.
Beth was a bit of a maddening character for me as one minute I was not liking the decisions and choices she was making but then you get to see the softer caring side of her personality and my opinion would then change... she was definitely a real marmite character for me!
Whereas I liked Alice right from the off and loved how she took on the role of 'Maman' to boyfriend Dan's young daughter Lucy who was absolutely adorable, I loved the relationship they had built up over the time they have been in each others lives. But as much as I loved how close their bond was, I was also intrigued as to how and why Lucy's birth mother Louise could give up her daughter so easily but over time we soon meet her and discover what influenced that decision and how things had worked out for her which was heartbreaking reading in its own way....
I literally flew through this novel over the weekend as I kept wanting to read just one more chapter to see what was going to happen next in the lives of these three women but I have to admit that there was one tragic scene that completely floored me as I did not see that coming at all. It wasn't all heartbreak though, there were plenty of light-hearted moments sprinked throughout which was a welcome relief.
Overall I Always Knew was an enjoyable read and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more from Caroline Grace-Cassidy in the future.