When Izzie Dean’s beloved nan, Molly Blackshaw, passes away, Izzie returns to the Blackpool bungalow where she grew up, to say goodbye once and for all. When Izzie’s homecoming reunites her with her first love, Justin Swift, every emotion that Izzie has repressed since the day he broke her heart comes rushing to the surface. But then an unexpected discovery changes everything.
Between the pages of the battered secret diary Molly kept during WWII, Izzie discovers a story of love, heartbreak, and the incomparable hardship of life in a world at war. Reading her grandmother’s words soon puts her own story into perspective, and suddenly Izzie realises that the only thing holding her back from happiness, might be herself. Now she just has to convince Justin that they deserve a second chance at forever…
Izzy Dean never imagined she would become a widow by the age of twenty nine, but that is the devastating situation she faces when her husband Rufus passes away. Whilst trying to deal with her grief Izzy receives a call from Justin Swift, a man who captured her heart many years ago, until Justin suddenly ghosted her and they lost contact with one another.
Justin’s call brings Izzy back to Blackpool as he delivers the news that her beloved Grandmother Molly has been taken in to hospital at the age of 96 – and the prognosis is bleak. Molly feels more than ready to pace away peacefully, especially as she has never quite got over the loss of her beloved husband ten years ago. Whilst on her death bed, Molly informs Izzy that she has a secret notebook that she wants her to find.
From this point onwards the story follows a dual timeline, alternating from Izzy’s life in the present day, to Molly’s life in the 1940’s as a twenty-one year old woman. Justin offers to help Izzy clear out her grandmothers bungalow, and as they spend more time together they begin to reconnect with one another, despite the ways in which he hurt her all those years ago. It becomes apparent that the feelings Izzy believed were long gone were merely being suppressed.
Through the pages of this secret notebook, Molly tells her own tale of romance, friendship and heartache, allowing us to know her on a far deeper level. She too has faced her own trials and difficulties over the years, but with every decision she has made throughout her long life, they have all made her the person Izzy loves dearly in the present day.
I loved the way in which this story was written. I have always been a big fan of a dual timeline, and the way in which this book alternated seamlessly between both periods in time had me well and truly engrossed to the very end. Both Molly and Izzy are really intriguing characters, both of them have flaws – as we all do – but they both have so much love to give, and far more in common than they may have initially believed. I really enjoyed following the relationship that Izzy and Justin share too. Despite the things that tore them apart in the past, it is clear they have a deep connection with one another and an undeniable chemistry that refuses to disperse.
This is a beautifully written story that showcases the importance of love, acceptance and friendship. A fabulous read.
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About the Author
Lancashire born, I moved to Bedfordshire in the late seventies, married and started a family. I’m a past Hon Sec of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, have been a member since 1993 when I joined their New Writers’ Scheme as a probationer. That came about after winning a week’s historical writing course on the strength of the first chapter of my third Poldark-era romance. The tutor on the last day loved the story and handed me details of the Romantic Novelists’ Association – she said I absolutely must join as they would be able to help me towards publication.
Some four years later my first published book, Dark Canvas, won the RNA’s New Writer’s Award in 1997, the sixth, Illusions, won the RNA’s Romance Prize in 2003.
After working in the local library service for 18 years, during library cut-backs I took the leap to become self-employed as a writer and worked on releasing my backlist as eBooks for Kindle.
Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing Charlotte Ledger when she pulled me from the writing wilderness and have now signed a three-book deal with One More Chapter.
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*Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources, One More Chapter and Julia Wild for providing me with a gifted copy of this book in return for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.*