When soap star and ex-singer Helen Redford is invited by a TV company to appear on a programme called Roots which is all about going back to her home town to revisit her past, she's really not sure whether to go ahead with it or not. Her younger boyfriend Bon and her ex-husband Arthur both think that it's a great idea and that she should do the show and that it would be good for her future acting career.
The book flits between Helen's current life and her younger life, when she is part of a duo with her friend Charlotte and they are trying to get a break in showbiz when they appear at the Carlton Rooms in their home town at a talent show. Should Helen go through with the show and drag up skeletons from her past or should she leave them firmly where they already are? Will the show give her the answers that she wants, or will it just cause more unhappiness and upset?
I was first introduced to Sue Welfare when I read a book by Kate Lawson and discovered that Sue actually writes under the name Kate Lawson too and also as Gemma Fox . Sue talked to me about why she writes under other names in a post I wrote last year which can be found here.
I love the way that Sue develops her characters into likeable and believable people that you could imagine yourself living alongside. She develops scenes which come to life instantly and when Helen and Charlotte stood on the stage in the Carlton Rooms I felt as if I could reach out and almost touch the audience. I could hear the cheers and the rounds of applause that they were receiving after their first public performance.
There were some very poignant emotional issues raised in this book. Firstly Helen’s mother had left her and her father when she was six and she never found out what happened to her mother. This was something that had affected her all of her life and she blamed herself for this happening. There was also the issue of love and friendship and how friendships can be put at risk when one person in the friendship wants something more than the other. It raised the issue of how something can fester within a person for years and years and that jealousy is an awful quality to have which can eat you up inside. Jealousy can lead to lies and deception and these huge things are not always able to be remedied.
This was a totally enjoyable book from start to finish. I could not wait to find out what happened at the end. It was one of those books that finishes leaving you feeling all warm and cosy when it’s finished and you feel that all the loose ends are tied up beautifully and just how you wanted them to be.
Sue Welfare was born on the edge of the Fens and is perfectly placed to write about life in
Sue also writes as Gemma Fox and Kate Lawson. For more information about Sue you can check out her website www.katelawson.co.uk.
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