The love emanates from every page

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I absolutely just loved this book! It is wonderfully warm, nostalgic and written with love you can feel it emanating from every page.
I can’t really articulate why I love it so, it reminds me of lying on the lawn under a blue hazy sky, listening to planes yawing overhead and a sense of home, a real story that I felt connected to; both to the characters and the sense of place.

‘𝑶𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒄𝒉, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒆𝒃𝒃𝒍𝒆𝒔 𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒑𝒆𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒊𝒑𝒆𝒚 𝒅𝒆𝒄𝒌𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒊𝒓𝒔. 𝑴𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒐𝒄𝒄𝒖𝒑𝒊𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒚 𝒃𝒐𝒅𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒌𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒍𝒚 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒗𝒂𝒓𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒂𝒏𝒔𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒓-𝒘𝒂𝒏 𝒔𝒌𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒂 𝒃𝒓𝒖𝒕𝒂𝒍 𝒎𝒊𝒅𝒅𝒂𝒚 𝒔𝒖𝒏.’

The story spans 50 years travelling back and forth between the seventies and now.
Billie travels to Brighton to meet Madame Burova and to try to find out some information about her birth parents, she is given some clues but she is intrigued by Imelda. I loved the interplay between these women, it feels real and they feel loved by the author writing them. The friendships of Billie sound authentic and it also had a tint of hazy 70’s sunny nostalgia to me.

‘𝑰𝒎𝒆𝒍𝒅𝒂 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒑 𝒉𝒆𝒓, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑩𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒊𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒓𝒆𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒊𝒄𝒆.’

There is seventies sexism, still shocking that is was so all pervading and it was difficult for women to do anything about in a world so ruled by men, it really angered me but I love that fact that they can and do fight back guerilla style!

I loved the characters, they are all so rounded, you feel you would know them if you walked into the Brighton cafe and saw them. I had so many questions reading this story - What of Imelda and Cillian’s relationship? What is the significance of Vivienne, what happens to Jeanie, I want to know more about Treasure? I was intrigued by Henrys part in the story and his connection to Imelda, he is gorgeous and so kind.

I desperately needed to know what happened to them all and who Billie’s parents were. It kept me reading as I’d really connected with these people.

‘𝑳𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒔, 𝒏𝒐 𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒇𝒍𝒆𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒎𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒚, 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒇𝒖𝒍. 𝑰𝒕 𝒂𝒍𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒔.’

The twist and the heartbreak and then the absolute joy this book brings is just wonderful. This is a great story and will make you feel happy to the bottom of your boots and I defy you not to cry right at the end.