Jane Moore and Alexandra Walsh were best friends, but then Jane got pregnant when she was 17 and as her world became consumed by looking after her child, they drifted apart.
Seventeen years later, Jane learns that Alexandra has suddenly gone missing. She teams up with her Alexandra’s heartbroken husband Tom, her own sister Elle, and their new friend Leslie in order to try and find her old friend. Along the way, each of them learns their own lessons about life, love and family…
I enjoyed this book. I do think that the cover and title give the impression that it might be a light and fluffy ‘chicklit’ read, and while it’s true that this is an easy read definitely aimed at the female market, the subjects of loss, grief and love run through the heart of the story. Within the first few pages, the reader was introduced to several characters in different time periods, and I did wonder if things might get a bit confusing, but they didn’t at all, and the story then continued in chronological order.
All of the characters are well drawn, as are more peripheral characters such as Jane’s son Kurt, her mother Rose, and Kurt’s father Dominic. My favourite character was definitely Leslie – a brittle woman who had deliberately isolated herself from others, but found herself letting people into her life.
Jane was by far the most level headed of all characters, although she had her own demons to deal with. I found it difficult to initially warm to Elle, as she seemed selfish and brazen, but her particular story did develop well.
The story is told in the third person and we see events from the points of view of Jane, Elle, Leslie and Tom in turn. Although they are brought together by the search for Alexandra, the book focuses on the twists and turns happening in their own lives.
This is very readable, and while it’s not the kind of book I would pick up every day, I did enjoy it. Recommended to fans of chicklit and women’s fiction.