Top positive review
A warm and charming romance
on 18 May 2014
Shannon Fletcher and her brother have established a small whole-food chain and want to expand. With her mother’s health failing it seems sensible for them to open one near their hometown. The only issue for Shannon is that she has barely been home in 20 years, avoiding the woman she loved, the woman who chose marriage and family duty over their future together.
At 10 Shannon moved in to the mansion of the wealthy Lansford family where her mother was housekeeper. Madison Lansford, 9 year old and irresistible, soon became her best friend, but always behind doors and below stairs. While their love grew with the passing of their teenage years, Madison’s family expectations were always a cloud on the horizon.
When Shannon returns home she is shocked at how close her mother and Madison have stayed. She is forced to reconnect. But can she manage to be friends with the woman who shattered her world, and has Madison ever come to terms with who she really is?
Gerri Hill is mistress of the gentle romance of lost love and adult angst. She creates warm, passionate women who’s coming of age stories keep us wanting to turn the page, despite knowing there is bound to be a happy ending.
In this we have a version of the rich girl/servant girl Cinderella story with the bullying mother, the absentee father and the kind and gentle housekeeper playing surrogate mother. Ms Hill explores how a controlling mother can so dominate a child’s psyche that they do not see any option but the one presented to them. Disobedience, straying from the expected route, is literally impossible for them.
Shannon and Madison are both delightful characters. They are, as always, well-written and genuine people who we would love to meet. Despite the bad decisions and painful lost years they have remained true to their own hearts and never allowed the pain to make them bitter. Shannon’s mother Alice and Madison’s son Ashton are excellent secondary characters, bringing an additional layer of warmth to the cast.
And that’s what Ms Hill’s books are.. a warm embrace full of growth and dawning understanding. She bathes us in a soft glow where despite bullying mothers and unhappy marriages there is always a ray of light to keep the heart alive. And as always, the walls of hurt and distance will break down to let the light shine through. Love always conquers.
A delightful read. Another great addition to Gerri Hill’s oeuvre and one which will always be on the re-read shelf when we need to believe in love.