I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton in exchange for an honest review.
Seven-year-old Jake’s heart is failing and he doesn’t want to leave his dad, Simon, alone. So he makes a decision: to find Simon someone to love before he goes.
Beth is determined to forget the past. But even when she leaves New York to start afresh in a Lake District village, she can’t shake the secrets that haunt her.
Single dad Simon still holds a candle for the woman who left him years ago. Every day is a struggle to earn a living while caring for his beloved son. He has no time for finding someone new.
But Jake is determined his plan will succeed – and what unfolds will change all three of them forever.
If you read my WWW Wednesday posts, you’ll know this was a book I put off for a long time. It wasn’t a book I sought out to read, or even requested, but a you like similar titles so we think you’d like this email that had me reading it.
I expected an absolute cry fest, featuring the ugliest, snot drenched tears known to man but — thankfully (for me and anyone close enough to see me!) —- this wasn’t the case. It was a deeply emotional book, with moments that did tug on my heartstrings, but there was also flecks of humour and heart to cut through the gloom.
The characters feel well developed and, although it took me a bit of time to come around to Simon, you do find yourself rooting for them. Jake was lovely and brave despite his struggles but the sweet, innocent moments brought it home just how young he is to be going through what he is. Simon is a doting Dad, which was wonderful to read, but it isn’t until he meets Beth that the layers to his character unravel. Beth is haunted by another life but I loved reading her journey as she starts things over.
I loved the idea of Jake trying to find his Dad a partner, it added humour but — when you dug deeper and found out his real reason for doing it — it brought it back home that this is a story about an ill child. Jake might have a maturity to him but there are like pockets of innocence in his character which shows that, despite his bravery, he is still a child on his way to growing up.
The story is gorgeously crafted, in parts heartbreaking and heartwarming, with characters you root for. Don’t let the fact it’s emotional, or the occasional use of hospital or condition related lingo, put you off (like it did originally for me!).
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