In The Lives She Left Behind, James Long has continued the story he began in Ferney and has brought up to date the story of star crossed lovers who transcend time. This sequel cleverly interweaves a modern day love story with the memory of past lives, whilst at the same time ties up the loose ends which were left hanging at the end of Ferney.
This sequel works on all levels, the narrative flows well and the energy of the story in reuniting Ferney and Gally seems more focused and purposeful. The pain of their togetherness is palpable and all consuming, and yet there is almost a sense of homecoming in this conclusion, which is made all the more poignant by the effect their relationship has on those around them. The use of cleverly constructed peripheral characters helps to move the story along, so that it becomes more of an observation about the consequences of relationships rather than a history lesson.
Whilst it is possible to read this book with no prior knowledge of Ferney, the author does an admirable job of explaining the whys and wherefores, in my opinion it is better to enjoy the story from the beginning. This sequel always needed to be written as the ending to Ferney left many questions unanswered, but now, for me, there is a real sense of completeness, as all the pieces of the puzzle finally slip into place.