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on 9 October 2012
A poignant portrayal of the devastation caused to a relationship by a tragic accident. Ella and Aidan have a wonderful marriage until the dreadful moment when everything changes for ever. McInerney's sensitive description of the consequences for everyone is superbly written. I felt I knew each of the characters personally and shared in their anguish or guilt. Yet the writing never descends into sordid emotionalism but achieves just the right mood throughout.
And surely everyone would love to have a charming eccentric uncle like Lucas!
This was the first book I have read by this writer but certainly won't be the last. (Have already ordered another!)
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on 25 October 2012
This book is the poignant tale of the devastating impact a tragic accident can have on a loving couple's relationship...

Ella was living the perfect live in Australia; happily married to husband Aidan, who she'd met through her English uncle Lucas, with a gorgeous baby son Felix who she idolised and a job she loved.

The one person she has always been able to rely on for love and support is her uncle Lucas; he's been there for her when her parents split up, when her mother, Meredith, married Walter and she gained step-brother Charlie, when her father died and when her half-sister Jess was born.

But then one day her whole world was turned upside down and the only way she could cope with her pain was to run away... from Aidan, her family, everyone.

During this time she'd take on meaningless jobs to keep herself busy to try and block her memories but nothing can stop the hurt and pain she's feeling. Although she does keep in sporadic email contact with Charlie, Lucas, Meredith and Walter, she cuts off contact completely with the two people she holds responsible... Aidan and Jess.

Eventually Ella takes up Lucas' offer to come to London to spend time with him and whilst there he slowly works on her to try and get her to talk through the events of the day to see that it truly was a terrible accident and that no-one was to blame. Will she ever be able to accept this though and forgive Aidan and Jess?

Although this story is told mainly from Ella's standpoint, we do also get to see how both Aidan and Jess are feeling. It's a very emotional story and one that could so easily happen in any loving family which is why it's feels so realistic.

Monica McInerney is a fairly new author to me as I'd never read any of her books before this year but she is definitely an author whose books I will be looking out for in the future.
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on 5 March 2015
Just reaching the final chapters of this book and will be quite pleased for it to end. I have enjoyed most of Monica's other books but this one is very repetitive and I am finding it hard now to sympathise with the main character despite the awful death of her child, and her sister Jess is appalling, a spoilt brat who should have grown up after the tragedy of her nephews death but acts like a child. We all like different books and many people have loved this one. For me there wasn't enough meat on the bones of the various characters and the final page can't come fast enough.
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on 21 December 2014
What a beautiful read this was, I couldn't stop once I'd started. It was heartbreaking in places - I don't often cry when reading, but this had me in tears. There was plenty of humour too, to balance things out. The story was written with such warmth and depth, I felt like the cast were all family members by the end, and although Jess still struck me as being thoroughly spoilt, I did at least have more sympathy for her by the end of the story - a testament to the skill of the author! I'm so glad there are lots more Monica McInerney books I can get stuck into and am off to download another right now.
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on 13 October 2012
It made me laugh and cry. This book is a beautifully sensitive look of bereavement reaction with a deeply positive insight leading you into the personal growth of the characters.. Heart warming
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on 30 December 2014
I previously read one of the authors books and decided to purchase another. Unfortunately I wasn't that entranced by this novel in the slightest. I feel that the story was extremely repetitive and dragged on. Possibly the most infuriating thing was how simplistic the author made Jess. She is nearly 22 years of age and yet her entry's were so simplistic that you would swear they were written by a 12 year old and not a fully grown woman.
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on 2 March 2014
"Grief is the price we pay for love." Pg. 188

Written in a tender flowing prose that takes you on the journey of a family in crisis trying to find their way; an exceptionally moving story of loss, grief, redemption and forgiveness.

Told from the perspective of each of the major characters it keenly portrays how one terrible accident resulting in the death of a child can impact the people it touches in so many different ways and the varying ways people have of dealing with grief.

For some inexplicable reason I could not muster much of an affinity with any of the characters with the exception of Ella's uncle Lucas who seemed to take on the focal point of the story when in fact he was not the main character at all.

This is a well crafted story dealing with a very difficult subject matter, written with great sensitivity. At 473 pages maybe it was just too much.
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on 9 May 2013
What I admire most about this rich, intelligent and wonderfully crafted book is the way I got dragged along, in real time, through Ella's emotional development. I "grew" along with her, to reach the same places that she did, and for the same reasons. Monica McInerney never skims over events, or forces facts on the reader...we're brought along for the ride, feeling each twist and turn as the characters experience chickening out! I don't often get this kind of deep reading experience. I'll be looking out for more of her books now.
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on 19 January 2013
I am a big fan of this author and have read almost everything she has written. I would put this book up there with some of her best (The Alphabet Sisters etc) - it was a gripping read from start to finish and hard not to sympathise with the main character, Ella and of course Aidan. I loved it!
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on 7 January 2013
Excellent read, literally could not put it down. Wanted to find out how this tragedy would work out and how the relationships between the main characters would resolve. Very well written and highly recommended.
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