Digital Reads Reviews

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This was one of the most different books that I have read this year. The story evoked all my emotions. There were times I wanted to scream at the main character and times when I wanted to hug her. I didn’t do any of those things. But I did cry with her in some of the chapters in the end and cheered her on when she stood up for herself.

Anna Mansell has written a book, direct and real, covered in truth, without sugar coating it. The book started with a letter Jem wrote to her ex Ben which was never meant to be posted. It then told me her story as she got back to life and Tinder dating and found someone who seemed to treat her well. Her mum was fatally ill, and only her friendship with Leanne kept her sane. Until she got to know a few truths. About herself. About others.

The story was a journey of revelations and emotions. The characters were all different, some were genuine, some wore masks, but it was Jem and her mother who caught my eye. Their relationship was loving, their bond was deep and filled with humor and tears. They were so strong, even when they never saw it for themselves, I could see it.

It was the last 20% of the book which made the story sparkle. I went through a gamut of emotions along with Jem. I smiled through my tears, seeing how far she had come in life. My respect for her increased, and I was so happy I got to read her story.

A heart wrenching read in some ways, a delight in all ways.

P. S. My only niggle was the main character drank and drank and drank. I don’t drink so I found it difficult to relate to but understood her reasons much later in the story

I received a free ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, and this is my journey into its pages, straight from the heart!! STRICTLY HONEST AND UNBIASED.

All my reviews can be read here

‘Dear Ben, I can only write you this letter because I know you’ll never read it…’

When Jem writes to her ex Ben, it’s to explain everything. All the secrets she kept from him – from the little lies she’d sometimes tell about how new those shoes really were, or how many glasses of wine she’d had that evening… right up to The Big Thing that happened on the night that changed everything. But she never expects he will actually see what she’s written. She is just writing because she thinks it will help to get the words out. Later, she resolves, she’ll burn the letter, and then the past will be in the past for good. Because Jem is doing fine now. She’s busy: working, spending time with her best friend, and looking after her mother, who’s in remission from cancer. She’s even dating again and has just met a guy who she thinks she could actually fall for. At long last, Jem is really, definitely somewhere close to happy. But her mum finds the letter and thinks she’s doing Jem a favour when she posts it to Ben. And Jem’s new, carefully rebuilt life begins to unravel in ways she could never have imagined. Then, when her mother gets ill again, she finds herself asking who has the key to her future. The man she’s falling in love with now? Or the man she loved before?

Publication Date: March 2020

7 Responses

  1. Sounds like a very moving read. I would probably end up psychoanalyzing the main character while I read. Maybe that’s why I avoid contemporary fiction. Great review! ❤️

    1. Hahaha some parts were tough reads…. But I was glad when she stood up for herself… Was planning to put the steel rod in her spine.. 😂 😂 It was long overdue

    1. I feel I am growing rigid, I am clear about whom I like in real life and stay far away from the negative ones…
      In this the main character drank too much at any time of the day including breakfast when her mum was terminal. So I felt sh would have realized the truths a little earlier. But in life, we hardly realize the truth. At least, I am not street smart. I trust easily which has been my downfall.

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