What a book!
This fabulous story starts in war torn Austria when a very young Leo is devastatingly taken from his family home by his mother to go to live a better life in England, but is very distressed that they are leaving his poorly young sister behind.
The story then goes to a young girl called Cat who is attending her lover Leo's funeral, trying to catch a glimpse of his wife of twenty years Victoria and their children and also wondering whether his lover Maddie is there with her daughter.
When the funeral is over and she hides out in the churchyard clearly distraught about what has happened to the man she thought that the love of her life, when Victoria appears beside her, treating her with kindness and concern and wondering whether she was okay. Maddie at this point also materialises and Victoria turns on Maddie asking whether she knew that Cat was also Leo's lover when she clearly didn't.
Each woman thought that they were Leo's real true love. Each one led a very different life with him, and things that they thought he disliked, he liked with one of the others. They meet up when Victoria finds things out other things about Leo's life and what he has and hasn't left behind and feels it only fair to these other two women who are connected with her in some way, to share that knowledge.
This deep and dramatic story is about how these women cope in this situation, how they have to continue with their lives although that very important person that used to be in it, isn't around any more and how they pick themselves up, dust themselves down and get on with it because they have to.
It was a wonderful, if not an unusual, story line, excellently mapped out, with their lives taking very different directions. Emma's writing was really superb, making the characters and the places come alive in my mind, and making me feel like I was part of the story line.
I got completely wrapped up in the story and felt the emotions that the characters were feeling as if they were my own. The three main characters were all extremely strong in their own way and I was totally engrossed with each and every one of them and their lives. I particularly warmed to Victoria who was a warm, genuine and maternal character although each of them was extremely realistic and believable.
This was a book that made me not care about what else was going on in my life. My aim was to read that book and discover how these amazing women battled with their emotions and helped their families to grieve for a person that wasn't the person that they each thought he was and also how they behaved and coped with each other.
There were lots of twists, turns and surprises along the way and it was a book that I would most definitely recommend and I shall be looking out for Emma's other books. Her writing is definitely a style that I like and can lose myself in.
I loved this book, as my son says, "to the moon and back again!" I really didn't want it to end. Although when it did, I have to say I couldn't have wished for a more perfect ending!
Emma joined me as a guest over at my blog quite recently and she grabbed some author's that she knew and asked them some fab questions. You can read that post by clicking here.
Emma has extensively for national newspapers and women’s magazines including the Guardian, Independent on Sunday, Red, Good Housekeeping, Woman & Home and Woman.
She read English at Cambridge University and began her career as a cub reporter on the Western Morning News in Plymouth, later becoming features editor of Woman and Family Circle.
She gets by in French and Spanish and works out – occasionally – at her local gym. After walking her youngest to school, you might also spot her jogging in Richmond Park with some friends. Slowly.
Emma lives in South West London with her husband, the political commentator Kevin Maguire, and their three children, aged 25, 20 and 10.
She’s currently working on her fourth novel.
Find out more about Emma and her books at her website www.emmaburstall.com
You can like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter
You can click here to buy this book