As a teenager, Rachel lived through the death of a friend and discovered that even the most enchanted of lives can be easily shattered.
When tragedy strikes her own life as an adult, and she loses her unborn child, Rachel ought to turn to her husband for support. But in trying to protect one another, she and Andrew end up further apart than ever and Rachel finds herself resentful and lonely.
Haunted by the past, she contacts the brother of her old friend and the two of them are drawn into a dangerous and destructive affair. But betrayal comes at a high price, and having lost one child, how can she bear to face losing another?
Not sure how but I completely missed Suzanne Bugler's previous novel, This Perfect World, which was part of the 2011 Richard and Judy book club. From all accounts it was a fantastic read so I was happy to accept a copy of this book to read and review as hoped that this book would be as good as her previous one sounded.
The book centres around Rachel who you can tell is very unhappy with her life and who is still struggling with the after effects of her stillborn daughter years ago. She is also not willing to accept that her son, Jono, now a teenager is no longer her little boy who wants to be with her all the time. Her marriage to Andrew is now also a shell with two people living as individuals and no longer as one happy unit.
One day after dropping off her son at his friends, she encounters the mother of someone she used to hang around with which triggers deep hidden memories of when she used to be on the outside of the 'in-crowd' which Vanessa was the centre of and which ended when Vanessa died. However, when she later visits the woman at her house she is shocked to discover that this woman is denying that she ever had a daughter.
Now that these memories have been unleashed she is not able to let things lie so she decides to seek out Vanessa's brother, Simon, to find out why his mother is denying her daughter. What initially started out as curiosity, created by loneliness, soon turns into an illicit and dangerous affair with devastating effect on her family...
Although I did enjoy reading this book, I did also want to, at times, shake Rachel and tell her to get a grip of reality and pull herself together. I'm sure we've all felt frustration and loneliness at times in our lives but that doesn't mean we're going to take actions that could cause upset to those around us. This book certainly proves the point that all actions have consequences.