Reviewed by Louise Wykes
When lonely single mum Janey stumbles into an art workshop, she can't believe her eyes when her left hand mysteriously scribbles a picture of two little girls and a strange message from someone called 'Hattie': Janey's childhood best friend. But they lost touch after Hattie's family suddenly moved away in mysterious circumstances.
Janey's instincts tell her that she must finally find out what happened to Hattie, but life is already complicated enough: she's struggling with motherhood, a custody battle over her toddler son Pip is looming, and she finds herself falling for intense art tutor Steve. And when writing appears on the walls of her flat and Pip starts playing with an invisible friend, Janey fears she's losing her mind. Is it really a good idea to go digging up the past? As dark secrets come to light, she can't be sure what's real any more - or who to trust...
After adoring Lucy’s debut novel Tiny Acts of Love, I was absolutely thrilled at the news of this, her second novel as I couldn’t wait to see what delights were in store. I was certainly not disappointed as I was completely consumed and bowled over at the passion and intensity of feeling within the pages and I have a serious book hangover after reluctantly closing the book once I’d finished it.
Janey stumbles accidentally into an art workshop at a local college and she ends up creating a piece of art which instantly takes her back to her childhood and her best friend Hattie with whom she has completely lost touch. This prompts Janey to try and discover what happened to her best friend all those years ago and takes her on a journey into her own troubled past.
This book simply defies any genre, I was reading it expecting it to be a simple journey into Janey and Hattie’s past together but it ends up being so much more than that. As soon as one element is revealed, another twist happens which is why I had to read this book in one day, I simply couldn’t put it down as Lucy’s writing took me straight into Janey’s psyche especially with her struggles as a single parent.
This book has everything, there is a love story, a mystery, elements of the supernatural and there’s some laugh out loud moments which caught me off guard, especially Janey’s confusion with Trixie which was priceless. Lucy’s first book Tiny Acts of Love was one of my books of the year and this one is definitely in contention for this year.
I am actually frustrated with myself because I cannot find the words to express how much I adored this book - it was intricate, engaging, consuming and life affirming, I just have to simply urge you to read this book – simply stunning.