University friends Connie, JJ, Jonas and Layla are each feeling the pressures of life 15 years down the track. Connie, who once dated JJ but is now married to Jonas, has two daughters and has swapped journalism for blogging. Her husband is close to breaking point with his overwhelming workload as a lawyer. Personal trainer JJ is still sleeping around, while Layla, a therapist, is having to face up to the fact that her mum has dementia.
Opening with a suicide attempt, the author keeps readers in the dark about which character finally cracks. Told from the viewpoint of each of the four friends, the story deals with a number of raw real-life issues and explores the bonds of friendship when times get tough.
Rosie and Nate have been dealing with a parents’ worst nightmare – their daughter, Emmie, has an inoperable brain tumour. Although they are both dedicated to making the most of Emmie’s shortened life, their own relationship has suffered over the years. So Emmie enlists the help of her lovely counsellor, Dr Tom, to try to rekindle that spark again.
Showing the emotional toll that having a sick child can have on the parents, this story tugs at the heartstrings, without being too depressing.
Lucy Harte works as a florist and is married to the love of her life, paramedic Luke. Everyone knows Lucy and Luke are soulmates - the real deal. However, after eight years of trying to have a baby together without any luck, things aren't going so well. Lucy wants nothing more than to have a child of her own and, even after the numerous miscarriages, she secretly has high hopes for their last IVF treatment. But then, completely unexpected, Lucy's world comes crashing down and suddenly she is forced to rethink everything and make some decisions that will change her life for ever. This book was just as compelling and heartbreaking as other readers had told me it would be; what an incredible novel by Sasha Wagstaff writing under a pen-name. The story is told from three female perspectives: the main character Lucy, her sister-in-law Nell, and her mother-in-law. The characters are really well-rounded and each had their own interesting point of view to share and story to tell. The strongest aspect of this book is undoubtedly the amazing love between Lucy and Luke. It is so obvious that these two characters are meant to be together, but at the same time the book shows that even people madly in love with one another have to overcome struggles and fight for their relationship. The blurb of the book gives away a large part of the plotline, but there were still a few twists in the story I did not see coming. This novel is so well-written and emotional; I didn't want to put it down before I knew what would eventually happen to Lucy. Somehow, this book is incredibly real and my thoughts were still on the characters a couple of days after I'd finished it. Pieces of You is an incredibly compelling, powerful, heart-breaking novel. (JoH)