The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell

This is the fifth book by Maggie O’Farrell, one of my favourite authors, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Everything seemed captivating in this book, characters, storyline and writing.

The story begins in the mid 1950’s, with a twenty one year old Lexie in rural Devon. After an encounter with Innes Kent, she decides to move to London, where she meets him again. Their romance develops as they try to live and survive in Soho, dealing with the past which Innes brings.

Alongside this, we are introduced to Ted and Elina, set in the present day. We are thrown straight into the Elina’s struggles with motherhood, as she experiences strange memory losses over the birth. At the same time, Ted is dealing with his own issues, as his childhood memories seem different to the version his parents hold.

As both stories unravel, it’s apparent that a connection is to be expected. However, it may not be quite what you expect.

The 1950’s setting was the one I enjoyed the most, as it’s so easy to imagine yourself there. I also found Lexie and Innes to be my favourite characters – both as a couple, and also in their own right. Lexie’s character in particular is allowed to grow and evolve, and we follow every step with her – sharing in joys and sorrows.

The connection at the end is rewarding, the characters find their way into your mind and settle there, and the writing is a joy to read. What else can I say – read it! 🙂

Published by Headline
Hardback April 2010

The Hand That First Held Mine at

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