Caitlin's life is a mess. Her marriage to a man everyone else thinks is perfect has collapsed, along with her self-esteem, and breaking free seems the only option.
Nancy, her four-year-old daughter, used to talk all the time; in the car, at nursery, to her brother Joel. Then her parents split up. Her daddy moves out. And Nancy stops speaking.
Nancy's Auntie Eva, recently widowed and feeling alone, apart from the companionship of two bewildered pugs, is facing a future without her husband or the dreams she gave up for him.
But when Eva agrees to host her niece and nephew once a fortnight, Caitlin and Eva are made to face the different truths about their marriages - and about what they both really want . . .
I had never read anything by Lucy Dillon before this caught my eye on NetGalley, and I am thrilled that it did.
Caitlin is recently separated from Patrick, the man that came along and rescued her and young son Joel as their car broke down when Joel was small and Caitlin was bringing him up on her own. He provided her with stability, but for free spirited Caitlin it came with a heavy cross to bear, and Patrick seeing her as the perfect wife was too much for her to cope with.
He begins to take to children for weekends with his sister, Eva, who has been recently widowed and not completely child friendly in her shiny show home house that usually only houses her and her pugs (who have the most amazing voices that I was hearing mentally for days after finishing.)
Eva, and particularly Nancy who has been mute since Patrick left, form a close bond, helped by Bumble the pug, and Eva starts to question a lot about her marriage to actor, Mike. The introduction to her of his memoirs is another step into the journey of her questioning their life together, and a serendipitous meeting with his editor sparks an interesting friendship.
I truly haven't enjoyed a book as much as I did this for a long time. Dillon's voice is strong, funny and empathetic and tells a really good tale. I loved the characters, especially Joel who had me weeping and laughing.
It ended beautifully and has left me wanting to race through the back catalogue of Lucy Dillon's work.
Many thanks to the publisher for an ecopy provided in exchange for an honest review.