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Summary

Eloise Hamilton is a Londoner born and bred, so it is a momentous day when she reluctantly agrees to uproot to Dartmouth, leaving behind her perfect world so her husband can finally live in his. There are compensations, however. On tap fresh air, a bigger home for her family, her mother-in-law Margaret will welcome her with open arms, and besides, she can rely on best friend Sara to be her lifeline to London.

But both Margaret and Sara are facing their own difficulties, and thrust into unexpected turmoil, Eloise finds she is the one holding everything together for her loved ones - and by an ever-weakening thread. As her world implodes with the strain of being responsible for all around her, someone is bound to be overlooked. And the damage might be irreparable....

©2012 Adele Parks (P)2012 Headline Digital

Critic reviews

"Wonderfully plotted, moving and insightful ... this is Parks' best yet, completely deserving of the accolades currently being heaped upon it and shot through with funny, tender and observant moments. I loved it." ( Daily Mail)
"Full of emotional set-pieces and real insight into relationships between men and women." ( Heat)
"She is a particularly acute observer of relationship ups and downs, and her stories are always as insightful as they are entertaining." ( Daily Mirror)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Never really lifts off

For fans of Joanna Trollope this domestic drama might vaguely satisfy but it is slow to come to the rise and generally rather sad, worrying listening. Not the usual Adele Parks pleasure, there are too many hours devoted to nothing very much. A friendship between Eloise, her husband Mark Hamilton and a local London couple Sara and Charlie is under the microscope from page one - the motives of each person other than Eloise seem shaky and suspicious, overbearing and self serving. The Hamilton family make the move from the city to Dartmouth, Mark's childhood home. Mark's usually capable and cheerful mother Margaret there is deteriorating, her illness is well researched and of course upsetting, scary and horribly recognisable. Think twice about reading/listening this if you are close to someone with early dementia... The theme of infertility is the main course and so the plot of how to get Sara her longed for baby is the thing. There are reveals that surprise and dangerous situations but somehow it only occasionally got me absorbed, excited. The narration is fine, well done for both female and male voices with good sound effects for phone conversations. I heard it at normal speed, which often felt slightly hurried, so it might have been better to reduce it back one notch to stop the gabbling effect. A reasonably enjoyable six hours but nothing special.

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Good story but abridged so rushed

Disappointed to realise that this is an abridged version of the novel which skipped out a lot of the story so returned it.