If you have daughters and/or step-daughters this is a must read. It is a thoroughly engaging story, beautifully written and everything
is not exactly as one would expect. The characters are flawed but likeable and not stereotypical in my opinion. Lara, the main character, is a middle-aged divorcee who is dealing with her two adult step-daughters, Jasmine and Eve, and her teenage daughter, Maddie, growing up and leaving home and adjustments to her life are inevitable and necessary. Throughout it all Lara just wants her daughters to find happiness, something that she has not always been able to hold onto.
Many of us are facing up to and adjusting accordingly to our life without children and this book focuses one’s attention. I am someone who never worries too much about what it might be like and deals with it when it happens. This way may not suit everyone else but this book certainly made be think a lot more.
Each character has their own story to tell and these threads are woven throughout the main story making for a full read. Each daughter is facing a new life, their relationships within the family are changing and beneath it all are the unspoken secrets. How much should you share with your children about your married life, its successes and failures, the ups and downs? How much should a mother involve herself with her children’s relationships – should she warn them off if she thinks they are not right? And then of course how do you deal with an ex-husband re-marrying? This is a book about a ‘modern extended family’ which many of us have to experience.
There is a very poignant chapter when Lara and Robin visit Damascus and Elizabeth Buchan describes the beauty and smell of this ancient and historically significant city whilst currently on our news we see the daily destruction and devastation of the same city, and we know it will never return to its former glory and in the foreseeable future it will not be welcoming tourists.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as so much of the content I could relate to and Elizabeth Buchan’s writing is easy without making the book a ‘chick lit’ piece.