As 18-year-olds in the late 90s, Tess and Gus have a brief encounter while they are visiting Florence – Tess is enjoying a break with a friend before she starts university, and he is on holiday with his parents. When Tess returns home, she discovers her life is about to take a different path, while Gus follows in his late brother’s footsteps and reluctantly studies medicine. Over the course of many years, their lives criss-cross but will fate decree that they ever meet properly? This is a poignant story with both characters facing devastating losses and relationship challenges as their lives unfold. Their near-misses are weaved in with subtlety and the serious issues are handled with sensitivity. Many readers will undoubtedly fall hard for this captivating debut novel, which has all the ingredients for a must-read. But for me, I feel like I’ve read this paths-crossing-without-meeting storyline a few too many times.