Saturday, 26 May 2012

Books Read: Alice Peterson - Ten Years On

Source - Received from publisher to review

As her glamorous London life comes crashing around her, Rebecca flees to her childhood home to recover.

Born in the same country town as Rebecca, he hasn't seen or spoken to her in a decade.  Now he's the successful owner of a wine bar, Maison Joe, and is breaking local hearts.

As Rebecca and Joe are forced to confront the past, bittersweet memories rush back, along with unanswered questions.  Can Rebecca ever forgive and forget? 

I'd like to thank Lucy at Quercus Books for sending me a copy of this book to review.  I loved Alice's previous novel, Monday to Friday Man, so had high expectations for this book and I definitely wasn't disappointed.

The story begins at a New Year's Eve party when Rebecca, Ollie and Joe were students at Bristol university where they predict what they'd like to be doing in ten years time...

When the story picks up ten years later, none of them are doing what they'd hoped to be;  Rebecca is working in an art gallery instead of being the successful artist she'd hoped to be, Ollie is a music teacher rather than a published author and they don't know what Joe is doing as they are no longer in touch with him.

But when Ollie is tragically killed, Rebecca heads home to her childhood home where she's shocked to find out that Joe is back and running a successful wine bar in the town.   He appears to be the town heart-breaker but it's all an act and soon Rebecca and Joe begin to rebuild their friendship and help each other deal with their issues.

The story alternates between the past and present with Rebecca trying to cope with her grief and flashbacks to events in the past which explain why Joe disappeared.   A touching part of the storyline to me, that did sometimes make me a little teary, was the description of Rebecca hearing Ollie's voice as I'm sure we've all at some time in our past wished we could hear from our loved one just once more.

Although the main characters in the book are Rebecca and Joe, there are a whole host of other interesting characters including Rebecca's boss Glitz and her family friend Janet, and it was also interesting to see the renewed relationship she builds with her parents and sister.

Some might think that a book that deals with the aftermath of the death of a loved one would make depressing reading but that is so not the case with this book as it was extremely well-written.  That's two out of two of Alice Peterson's books that I've loved so I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for future releases from her.

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