Luke Livingstone is a lucky man. He's a respected solicitor, a father and grandfather, a pillar of the community. He has a loving wife and an idyllic home in the Oxfordshire countryside. Yet Luke is struggling with an unbearable secret, and it's threatening to destroy him.
All his life, Luke has hidden the truth about himself and his identity. It's a truth so fundamental that it will shatter his family, rock his community and leave him outcast. But Luke has nowhere left to run, and to continue living, he must become the person - the woman - he knows himself to be, whatever the cost.
When I was invited to be part of the blog tour for Charity Norman's latest book The New Woman I didn't hesitate to say 'Yes' without having even read the blurb as I'd loved her previous book The Son-in-Law. And I'm pleased to say that this eBook lived up to all my expectations and some as it was such a beautifully told story that drew me with the emotions and torment of the characters that had me thinking as to how I would react if someone I knew were to make the same announcement, I would like to think I'd be supportive but you just don't know until it happens to you.
Luke Livingstone is a fifty-something man who should be looking forward to his 30th wedding anniversary to his loving wife Eilish but when we first meet him he is clearly in a lot of emotional pain having come to a drastic decision to end his torment of feeling like he didn't belong. But a chance encounter with a stranger on a train makes him rethink his plans and he decides that the only other option is to finally be truthful to himself and tell his whole family how he's feeling. What follows is the emotion-driven aftermath of Luke's announcement, which comes out of the blue to most of his friends and family, as they all struggle to coming to terms with the decision especially son Simon.
From the opening chapter I was drawn to Luke and was routing for him to find true happiness in who he was as a person even if it did come at the cost of everything he knew as there is nothing worse than living a lie. So at the same time I was willing for friends and family to understand that it was not a phase and to accept and love Lucia for who she was, the same person on the inside but who looks a little different on the outside.
Without a shadow of a doubt this is Charity Norman's best book to doubt, and my top read of the year so far, as it's such an emotional, thought provoking read that will stay with me for quite some time. Charity has certainly left herself a lot to live up to with her next book which I'm already eager to read.
I'd like to thank Diana at Ruth Killick Publicity for sending me a copy of this eBook to review.