|photo courtesy: Harper Collins.co.uk|
The story is about families. We love them, we hate them but we cannot ignore them. Our identity is often defined by domestic relationships and North explores the dynamics of it all quite well in the book.
This is my first book by the author and I enjoyed it. Although it took a long time to come via goodreads and when it did, I received not one but two copies!
Nonetheless, it was a pleasure to discover this author and her writing.
Frankie is a children's author and a single mum to Sam and Annabel and lives in Norfolk. Scott is a musician and lives with his teenage daughter Jenna in Canada. When sparks fly between Frankie and Scott, they instantly recognise that what they have is something unique. Making it work over two continents seems like the tough part. The changes that follow as a result, transforms the two families forever.
- A storyline that seems so real. It could happen to anyone and the characters felt so genuine. The plot though conventional is fresh and fraught with the realities that anyone can relate to.
- The easy going style. The story is simple but the way North describes; the hassle of dealing with children, the way single parents struggle to carve their lives while managing their childrens' is so good. North has kids of similar age of her own so perhaps she drew her experience from that. But her plight as a single mum is something many women can identify with, even if they are not.
- The characters. The main characters make you feel as if you know someone like them already. I could relate to Frankie's "mummy fail" moments and her clumsiness. I loved the way Scott was introduced to Frankie's family, very warm and upfront. It was very easy to visualise christmas in the family and the friction between Frankie and her mum.
- Frankie's struggle with Alice. Loved the way North has shown the tug of war with her character. It makes one realise how difficult and solitary it is, to be a writer.
- Loved the way the lilawat nation is described. I did not know Canada had its native population too and the story with its Canadian native characters offered a new refreshing insight. It enlightens the reader and adds value to the story.
The story sags a bit in the middle. Frankie invites Scott over and then she visits him, there was a point when I was wondering where was this going. It got a bit boring but when the twist happens, it really perked up the story and took it to another level.
Overall, a warm, weepy read. However, it is the writing style and the devices in terms of the different perspectives that won me over. For me that was the highlight.