This story relates the ups and downs of Erin and Dom’s relationship over 20 years. When they got married, her father gave them a notebook to write down the things they couldn’t say to one another and this book of love is with them through the years of happiness and heartbreak, love and loss, success and setbacks.
That’s about all I am going to say as it is best to go in without knowing much about the plot. This is definitely one of the must-read books of the year – it’s a moving, well-executed story with every ingredient that should keep readers glued to the page. For some inexplicable reason, it just didn’t completely captivate me.
Adam's already cheated on his wife, Beth, once in their marriage and she took him back. When she learns of his latest infidelity she's not so quick to forgive, sending him packing. Adam soon realises his mistake, but the longer he is away, the more Beth begins to acclimatise. And whilst Adam may want a reconciliation, further secrets and transgressions come to light that seriously damage his relationship with both Beth and their nineteen-year-old daughter Meg. But the truth about Adam's own family also emerges.
Kearney’s debut is a wonderfully stage-managed performance, with a winning cast, an engaging script and above all an evolving drama. What she does so brilliantly is set up Adam as the archetypal adulterer but complicates the reader's response to him, asking us whether Beth should forgive, whether Adam can become a changed man and whether Beth and Adam's relationship is worth fighting for or whether only further hurt lies down that path. It's a thought-provoking novel and regardless of what has gone on between Adam and Beth, their struggles and difficulties to move on are poignant. Kearney shows a great talent for writing a captivating, engaging plot and complex, multi-dimensional characters and relationships. A strong start to what looks like a promising career, I look forward to following her journey and can't help but expect further great things from her down the line. No pressure! (JC)