Natasha Kapoor’s life seems to be on a downward spiral. Her business and marriage are failing and her beloved Grandmother who lived in Cornwall has passed away. She travels back to Summercove, the family home in Cornwall, for her Grandmother’s funeral. Whilst there, she discovers the diary of her aunt Cecily who died as a teenager. Natasha starts to read the diary and soon discovers that her family are hiding secrets. She is determined to find out what happened in the summer of 1963, but when she finds the truth, will she like what she hears?
This book when it landed on my doorstep shocked me a little as it is certainly a hefty read at just over 500 pages. If I am being totally honest I wondered why this book would be different to any other Chick Lit book I had read and whether I could handle such a long read. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised.
The first thing that struck me as odd once I had finished the book was the front cover. When you first see it, you imagine it is no different and will be your typical `girl meets boy’ scenario book. The cover is at odds with the type of story this book tells.
At first I found the book a little slow going as we get to meet Natasha and her family. It all seemed a little stilted and hard work. At around the chapter 5 mark I was beginning to wonder whether I should bother reading on, however I don’t give up easily. By around chapter 10 there was absolutely no turning back and I had engrossed myself in the story.
The book is told over two time periods. We see Natasha and her current life, dealing with all her troubles and the discovery of her aunt Cecily’s diary. The second time period is that of the summer of 1963 as we too read Cecily’s diary. If I am being completely honest, I preferred the 1963 part of the story as there were a lot more secrets being made cleared the more you read. Having said that I didn’t dislike Natasha’s story, it was just a little duller in comparison to that of Cecily’s.
The story itself has real heart and we see all of Natasha’s family in this story, some of them nice and some of them not so nice. All of the characters were really believable and by the end I really felt for everybody involved. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and although it wasn’t the best I have read recently it was certainly enjoyable. It is a story that goes against the normal grain of romance and has characters that are quite memorable. I will certainly be reading more of Harriet Evans in the future and would recommend if you want something not too heavy, but a little more serious than the usual Chick Lit stuff.