Friday, 14 September 2012

Review - The First Time I Saw Your Face by Hazel Osmond

A truly delightful read.
Jennifer thought she had everything in her life that she had ever wanted until a terrible accident where she was flung through a windscreen left her facially scarred for the rest of her life.  It really knocked her confidence and her ability to live life to the full as she felt that people would always look at her face. She moves back home to live with her parents and while her old boyfriend Alex wants her to spend the rest of his life with him, she's not too keen feeling that she would be settling for him but then she meets Mack!
Matt is a next journalist who is practically blackmailed into moving to the north-east to pretend to be an author called Mack (ah ha!) so that he can get the lowdown from Jennifer as she has a very famous Hollywood actress cousin Cressida who she is extremely close to. By befriending her, he makes Jennifer believe that she can do anything she wants to and eventually gets her to act on stage which she hasn't done since the accident. But he can't stop himself from falling in love with her. And she loves him too - until she finds out the truth.
I read Hazel's first book Who's Afraid of Mr Wolfe last year and my review of that brilliant book can be found here.
This was a completely different type of book to the last which seemed more chick lit whereas this book seems to be have more depth to it and was more serious.  

Hazel is a fabulous author, and I loved the characters she created in this novel.  Even though Mack has done wrong, you still like him as a character and at times I found myself willing him to tell Jennifer the truth.  I longed for a happy ending, but up until the last few pages, didn't know quite which way it was going to go. 

It tackled the topics of love and trust and whether someone could be trusted again when you know what they've done has hurt and humiliated you.  It tackled a family friendship between two very close cousins and how that relationship can change due to circumstances beyond their control and family members who would go to great lengths to protect the privacy of the family that they love so dearly.  It also highlighted the tightness and community spirit of the people who lived in this extremely small village in the North East and how they stuck by their morals and supported the person who had been wronged.

This was a wonderful book to read, I found it thoroughly uplifting the way that Jennifer had lost her sparkle due to the accident and how Matt tried helped her to build her confidence and self-esteem when the world seemed to be against her.  He also tried his hardest to win back the hand of the lady he loved more than anything in the whole world and was prepared to do whatever it took - how romantic!   

There were a few beach scenes in the book that made me feel as if I was standing beside the characters with the sand beneath my feet, listening to the waves lap onto the shore and feeling just how cold the water was!

I certainly hope that Hazel has a whole pile of other books up her sleeve as even though I felt that her two books have been very different, I would most definitely read more of her writing. 
Hazel Osmond lives in Northumberland and is married with two teenage daughters. She has been an advertising copywriter for 20 years. She has also written a number of short stories which have appeared in ‘The Sunday Express Magazine’, ‘The Weekly News’, ‘The Writers’ Forum’, ‘Writing News’ and ‘Woman and Home’.
You can read more about Hazel and her work at


1 comment:

Dizzy C said...

I have just reviewed this one today :)

I am in agreement with you and do hope Hazel has more up her sleeve :)
No pressure, Hazel! :)