The only thing I hated about this book was that it ended! "With all my love" is a unique treat, a jewel of a book, with lots of wisdom and love on every page.
Life and family and especially the relationship between two women, Valerie and her boyfriend's mother Tessa, are the main ingredienses in this story. Valerie and Jeff are young and happily in love. Valerie in her first job after her finals and Jeff studying engineering. They are happy and carefree and loving their life in Dublin where Valerie is sharing an apartment with her close friend from childhood, Lizzie.
And then their lives are changed as Valerie becomes pregnant, which in the eighties is still not at all acceptable in catholic Ireland and small town Rockland's where Valerie's and Jeff's families live.
We follow Valerie and Jeff, their little daughter and families on both sides through many years in this book. Which is not only bliss although it's feelgood reading. Tragedy strikes and shatters all of their lives forever. Grief, misunderstandings, jealousy, hate - but in the end, most of all love. Love and forgiveness are what finally bring the two families together and heal the bitterness and wounds.
The book entails priceless accounts of little happy girls and their endeavours. Valerie's daugther Briony and later Briony's daughter Katie, so much alike, are bright as button little madams adding their own unique wisdom to the world around them. "Gamma", "Gandad" and "Valwie" and little Briony and Katie. So much sharing and so much missing out due to a family feud, or rather two women not able to share and understand each other's love for a son and a lover.
Read this book and give yourself a wonderful weekend (if it lasts that long) engulfed in Patricia Scanlan's world of love and wisdom. A book like this does not come often.