Published by Headline
Publication date 28 January 2016
Source – review copy
4 of 5 stars
“It’s Lily’s twenty-fifth birthday. And she’s about to open the very last letter written to her by the beloved mother she loved so much… A warm, poignant and unputdownable novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU, THE ONE YOU REALLY WANT and THE UNPREDICTABLE CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE
From the bestselling author of THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU and THE ONE YOU REALLY WANT comes a deliciously romantic and poignant read about love, loss and how nothing can stay hidden for ever… If you love the novels of Cathy Kelly and Sophie Kinsella, you won’t want to miss Jill Mansell.
On the morning of Lily’s twenty-fifth birthday, it’s time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight.
Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum’s life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie’s attentions.
Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily’s friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again…”
Lily Harper is just about to turn 25. That means she’ll be receiving the last letter from her mum, who died 13 years ago. In the letter she learns about her mum’s first love. On the same day she meets movie star Eddie Tessler, hiding from the press. Is something developing between her and Eddie? And why is her best friend, Dan, determined that she doesn’t get in too deep with the actor?
Oh this is a wonderful, heart-warming, funny story. It is moving in parts, particularly when memories of Lily’s mother arise. The sadness that she isn’t there to share her life with Lily, and the what could have been’s with her lost love is weaved onto the page. The memories also show how her mother, even in her absence has shaped Lily’s life. But this is not a sad, sentimental book. It is a book about friendship, love and what ‘real’ family is.
All of the characters are a perfect fit for the story and wonderfully drawn. Lily is a lovely, down to earth girl, grounded and mature given her sad loss. She is comfortable in herself and aware that family isn’t necessarily down to just biology. Each character adds something to the story, be it Coral, Lily’s surrogate mother, or Declan, her mother’s first love. Eddie is charming, kind and the perfect way for Lily to experience the world outside her life, and be an adventure for her. As for Dan, he is a wonderful character, the relationship and banter between him and Lily is funny and as you would expect for two people who have grown up together.
Perfect to curl up with on a dark cold winter evening or to read in the sun on a summer’s day. A gem of a book to read if you want to escape reality or just need a little pick-me-up. Funny, and laugh out loud in places this is a romantic read with the romance perfectly paced. I’m going to go back and re-read this soon, and read Jill Mansell’s other novels while I wait for her next book.