16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Another wonderful read from dependable Lisa Jewell,
This review is from: Before I Met You (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love Lisa Jewell's books and always go out of my way to buy any new releases she has brought out.
This was no exception, and as usual, I was immediately drawn in by the likeable characters and warm tone.
Set in Guernsey and London, the likeable Betty shows a wonderful yet non self pitying compassion toward an old lady who she regards as her grandmother. It's not giving too much away that the 94 year old dies, and a surprising mystery takes place when the will is read.
I won't fill this review with spoilers, but as usual, I was very involved with the main character Betty, and again as usual with Jewell's beautifully written novels, it was hard to believe Betty was a fictional character- so alive was she on the page. The parallel story of Arlette, Betty's grandmother, pulled at my heartstrings and left me in tears at several points. Jewell showed a talent here for being able to write in different periods and the scenes set in the 1920s rang with truth and authenticity.
Lisa Jewell is a cut above chick lit: yes she can do the boy meets girl story (Vince and Joy is a wonderful example), but she can also do friendships, parenthood, families and humour. Her writing is contemporary (she name checks eBay and Facebook in her novels), and her characters likeable (you'd want to be friends with them). At the same time, she can do good conflict without anyone being purely black and white.
I would recommend this book to anyone and I am thoroughly looking forward to a re-read in a few months time. In fact, I think this is her best yet. I am still thinking about it many days after I finished reading.
Not chick lit, just a beautifully crafted addictive story, rather beautiful in places.