I think I’ve now read all of this series up to date … and I’ve really enjoyed them all – feels like the characters are now very established and settled (not in a boring way), and there’s lovingly placed historical detail that helps give the story context, along with modern insights to an era that was not used to women in working roles. The murder mystery weaves in and out of the lives of the characters to a satisfying end. It’s not a heavy read – was perfect for a day when I was just feeling exhausted and wanted something enjoyable to read.
I was left feeling a bit ‘empty’ by this huge book – but clearly interested enough to finish it. The characters are complex, well written, and there’s a lot going on … but it does feel a bit like observing a number of different lives undergoing random events – then stuck with massive cancer storyline right in the middle (which, as someone with incurable cancer…) hmmm
This is not an ‘enjoyable’ lightweight read, but I found it very intriguing, and wove the characters together well. I cared about what happened to them, which is always a sign of a good book. The book bounces between timelines that make sense as we get to see what really happen and how two people struggled with blaming themselves and each other…
I thought there was a lot of useful and thoughtful information in this book, and particularly echoed with the thought that God doesn’t give me cancer, but that having cancer gives different ‘opportunities’ in life if we look out for them … The author of this book discovered he had terminal cancer as he was writing it, and died this summer after it was published. I’m always wary of anything that may be ‘toxic positivity’ – but this is not that. Not a v long book, easy to read, and some interesting underlying biblical principles.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.