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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.........

Vivvie is woken in the middle of the night by a phone call from local police, asking her to come and collect her two grandaughters. Her youngest daughter, Kate, is in the hospital and there is no one else to mind the little girls. Vivvie is no stranger to heartbreak as we discover early on in this book. She is a widow, with two estranged daughters and now is landed with two young girls she barely knows and she contacts her other daughter, Elin for some help. All is not what it seems though and the two women discover that Kate's disappearance from their lives may have had a hidden agenda.

The author blends parts of the past with the present and we can begin to form a picture of the girl's lives growing up with their widowed mother and all that it entailed. Sisters can clash at the best of times, but the loss of their father at an early age, shaped their personalities for the future. Both stubborn and self preserving, they chose to remove themselves from their mother's life and try to be individuals in their own right. When Kate is hospitalised, the women are forced to examine their current situations and assess their priorities.

This is a novel of feeling. Beautifully written with some wonderful prose, harrowing at times, but all with a view to exploring the meaning of family. Split into four parts, it has short chapters, is very easy to read and it is over before you know it. I loved the whole feel of a non- traditional family and how a moment of misery can sometimes bring change you could never expect. Well worth reading.
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Vivvie lives estranged from her two daughters. One night she gets a call to say she needs to go and collect her two small granddaughters after their mother Kate's suicide attempt. Needing support she phones her other daughter Elin, who agrees to come to her mother's aid. These three women, linked by their past, by events that have never been talked about and by feelings that have remained unspoken, now have to face that past that has driven them apart and to find some sort of forgiveness and reconciliation - if they can.
This synopsis makes the book sound fairly ordinary and banal, but it is anything but. The writing is powerful, the descriptions vivid - I could feel that Florida heat and humidity - the characters well-developed, not always likeable and certainly flawed, but always authentic, and the storyline expertly controlled. The secrets are gradually revealed leading to a complex and suspenseful narrative that fully engages the reader. Told in such a way that it is easy for the reader to jump to conclusions but as the layers are peeled back we are constantly reminded that in real life and real families things are rarely straightforward and we are constantly having our assumptions overturned.
I loved this book and found it memorable and very moving. It's an engrossing examination of one particular family but with a resonance for all families, and is both thought-provoking and compelling. Highly recommended.
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on 26 April 2014
As this story unfolds, you become aware of a dark secret that has had repercussions for all family members. An interesting tale revolving around how different people cope with tragedy. Enjoyable and thought provoking.
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on 13 April 2014
I got this free on my kindle so wasn't expecting much. How wrong can you be.........I lost a day, as I just sat and read this book. I'm not going to spoil it for anyone and tell you what happens. But I will tell you it has a good storyline, an interesting ending and some lovely characters.
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on 11 April 2014
I enjoyed reading this second book by Deborah Reed. The characters are well drawn and I wanted to find out their past history and the reasons for their estranged relationships. The book did not disappoint
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on 14 March 2014
Bought this book on the strength of the first page - absolutely gripped me from the beginning. The way that the story unfolds is brilliant, drawing you into the lives of the characters and what a subject !!!! And how perfectly depicted .
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on 30 December 2013
I really wasn't fond of the main characters at first, though may e that's because they are real people ( in my head with many faults) just trying to their family relationships?
Expect they felt real because i normally read crime fiction
This was a good read IMHO
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on 19 March 2014
This is an emotionally charged book which had me in tears on occasion. So powerful and emotive, this gripped me and lingered with me for a long time after I'd read it. I know I will read this again and soon.
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on 18 May 2014
I loved this exploration of relatively unattractive personalities. The development of relationships is insightful, playing with the reader's sympathies at times so that even where you don't like a character you want to know what hapens to them. There is some exquisite writing.
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on 24 March 2014
The opening chapter is abrupt and shocking and leaves you asking "why?!". The answer is revealed slowly as the story unravels and that's what I liked about this book - little bits of information and background are dripped into the story as it unfolds, explaining the relationships between the various characters. I found it fascinating and thought that Ms Reed brought the Florida heat and atmosphere beautifully to life.
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