Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Released: 23nd of March 2017
I closed my eyes as I tried to pick apart every flavour, because nothing had ever tasted so good before.It was love and it could not be hidden.
It is 1919 and the end of the war has not brought peace for Emeline Vane. Lost in grief, she is suddenly alone at the heart of a depleted family. She can no longer cope. And just as everything seems to be slipping beyond her control, in a moment of desperation, she boards a train and runs away.
Fifty years later, a young solicitor on his first case finds Emeline’s diary. Bill Perch is eager to prove himself but what he finds in the tattered pages of neat script goes against everything he has been told. He begins to trace a story of love and betrayal that will send him on a journey to discover the truth. What really happened to Emeline all those years ago?
What I Have to Say
This book is many things. At it's heart is a mystery. It's about what happened to Emeline and how Bill will go about tracking her down. It's about whether Bill will choose to do what is right and search for a long missing woman, or file the correct paperwork and move on with his life. But at it's heart, it's about identity. It's about Bill and Emeline finding who they are meant to be.
Emeline's life has been completely shattered by the war and by the influenza that came after it. She has nothing left to hold on to. This story more than anything is about whether she'll ever be able to get away from the past and that was the mystery that kept me reading until the very last page. It wasn't about anything other than will Emeline ever find peace.
The description is the best part of the book. The passages of wreckage and abandonment of the house where Emeline once lived and the ones of beauty and culture that form her new life. The food and people that she finds at the edge of France are so vividly described.
This book is not for the hungry as there are many very detailed descriptions of food and cooking. I found it amazing that I was able to identify spices such as paprika from just a description of the tastes.
A beautiful book that evokes every sense and falling deep into the narrative.
My thanks go to Penguin Random House for providing me with this copy for review.