Ever since she can remember, Roisin has received a birthday card in the post. Signed with love from the birth mother she has never met.
Brought up by her adoptive parents, Keeley and Doug, Roisin has wanted for nothing. But on her thirtieth birthday a letter comes that shakes her world.
For Keeley, who's raised Roisin as her own, the letter reminds her of a secret she's been holding for thirty years.
And for Nell, keeping watch in the lighthouse, the past is a place she rarely goes. Until a young runaway arrives seeking shelter, and unwraps the gift of hope for them all...
Having read most of Emma Hannigan's previous books, although I do still have The Pink Ladies Club and Keeping Mum waiting for me in my personal TBR mountain, I was over the moon when a proof copy of her latest book The Perfect Gift was sent to me by her publishers to review. And once again Emma Hannigan hasn't disappointed as she has written another stunning story which features family, especially motherhood, at the heart of it.
There are a couple of parallel storylines running through the book, the first revolves around Roisin who on the morning of her thirtieth birthday receives the latest and final letter from her birth mother. Reading these letters are always painful reminders of her past, which although she knows she's loved dearly by her adoptive parents Keeley and Doug, trigger questions about her heritage and her birth parents. On top of this, Roisin gets a painful reminder from another chapter of her past, and it looks like her business is under threat which means that she has a lot more than the questions about her birth mother on her plate to deal with.
Then there's lighthouse keeper Nell, who lives an almost hermit lifestyle keeping contact with the locals to a minimum. So when a young runaway 'Mouse' turns up on her doorstep, Nell reluctantly invites her to stay but it could just be the perfect gift she needs to start living her life again. I will admit that there were a couple of small niggles to this thread of the book where I thought that events happened quicker than I thought they probably would in a normal day-to-day life but I appreciated that this was needed for the story so could overlook my doubts.
As the stories entwined you are drawn into the lives of Roisin, Nell and those around them and you feel yourself routing for them to find the happiness that they all deserved, even Roisin's sister Liv who I took a dislike to at first but it soon became clear that she also had her own issues that she was struggling with. I wasn't shocked or surprised by the turn of events as I had guessed pretty early on what was going to happen which didn't spoil my enjoyment of reading this element of the storyline.
Roisin's thread was the one I enjoyed reading the most, her shop Nourriture (food for the soul) sounded like a food lovers dream. My mouth was watering most of the time whenever the food mentions were dropped in so it definitely was a story that had to be read accompanied by a treat or two! And then of course, there was the introduction of handsome Rob who comes along at just the right time.
Once again Emma Hannigan has written a simply gorgeous story and I'm a little sad that I've finished reading The Perfect Gift as it now means I have to wait until next year for her next book, unless I can find extra hours this Summer to finally read the last 2 books of hers that I've not read yet.