Published by Pan Macmillan on July 21, 2022
Source: Random Things Tours
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An estranged daughter. A missing grandson. A mother faced with an impossible choice.
Renee Gulliver appears to have it all: a beautiful house overlooking a scenic estuary on England’s East Coast, a successful career as a relationship therapist, three grown-up children, and a beloved grandson, Xavier. But then Xavier vanishes after Renee fails to pick him up from school, and the repercussions are manifold.
Renee is wracked with remorse; the local community question her priorities, clients abandon her; and, as long-held grievances surface, her daughter Mia offers her a heartbreaking ultimatum. Amid recriminations, misunderstandings and lies, can Renee find a way to reunite her family?
Wow, there’s no hanging around with this one. That opening chapter. Wow.
Renee seems to have it all, a fantastic career as a therapist, a loving family and a beautiful house. But she’s part of that generation that are trying to do it all, balancing a successful career, caring for her mother and her husband, looking after her grandson. It’s a balancing act and when Renee forgets to pick up Xavier from school one day, everything comes tumbling down.
‘Xavier isn’t here.’
‘What do you mean he isn’t there? Where is he? You were picking him up from school today.’
‘But it’s Monday.’
It is Monday, not one of my usual Xavier days. But Mia’s away, Mia’s in Amsterdam, on a course. I took Xav to school this morning and was supposed to pick him up this afternoon. The kitchen turns vivid, as if until this moment, I’ve been viewing it through soft focus.
Things aren’t always what they seem.
The truth will always come out.
I know it sounds cliched but these two sentences really are at the heart of this book. This is a beautifully written, character driven story of how secrets and misunderstandings can tear a family apart.
Alongside the story of what has happened to Xavier we also look back at what has happened in the past which has led the family to be where they are now.
Brilliantly constructed, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.