This is a measured sweet tale of a woman caught in that bookend generation: accountable to everyone, their needs, their demands, their expectations and losing herself in the process. We meet Jennifer at a watershed moment, on the run from a potentially failed marriage and victimized by cruel fate and misfortune. From the promise of new beginnings--and an undeniable attraction to Angus Cameron, she is thrust back into her old life, determined to put the past behind her. Unfortunately, her resolve is not shared by an egotistical husband with only his own future, and needs,in mind.
Jennifer tries, she truly does, but in the end she is victimized by her husband, Peter, and in one episode after another, any dreams and hopes for restoring her life are struck down. Memories of feelings for Angus should have given her hope, but as a true victim, she sets even this slim thread aside.
The story is told in two parts, with Jennifer's tale and Angus' own sad history forming a backstory that tugs at the heartstrings. Here are two people whom the fates keep apart like the most classic of star-crossed lovers. After a set of horrific circumstances for Jennifer, and an odd set of fortuitous encounters for Angus, these two do manage to find each other in spite of all odds.
The story is told in a very measured fashion and I found it difficult to identify with Jennifer, despite her circumstances (we of a certain age having been there and done that). My image is of her being victimized and continually forcing herself to continue down a path that put her in the penultimate caregiver role that came perilously close to being a martyr. I would have enjoyed a more balanced approach, with equal time given to Jennifer and Angus and less emphasis placed on all the secondary characters.
And in the end, Jennifer ends up once more placing her happiness in the hands of someone else, albeit this time a kind, generous man who loves her. There was little to no growth, no true test of character and the story fell short because of that. And though both Jennifer and Angus cannot forget that initial brief time together, the kind of passion that would make this compelling and believable is lacking.
This is a story for readers who enjoy a slower pace, filled with the minutiae of living, and a sweet ending. I give this 3.5 stars (rounded up).
This book was provided by the author for the purposes of a review.