My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Pages - 317
Publisher - Lake Union Publishing
Source - Wishlist Wednesday gift
Blurb from Goodreads
From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes a story that asks: what would you risk for a shot at happiness?
1984. Bessie is a confident sixteen-year-old girl with the world at her feet, dreaming of what life will bring and what she’ll bring to this life. Then everything comes crashing down. Her bright and trusting smile is lost, banished by shame—and a secret she’ll carry with her for the rest of her life.
2021. The last thirty-seven years have not been easy for Bess. At fifty-three she is visibly weary, and her marriage to Mario is in tatters. Watching her son in newlywed bliss—the hope, the trust, the joy—Bess knows it is time to face her own demons, and try to save her relationship. But she’ll have to throw off the burden of shame if she is to honour that sixteen-year-old girl whose dreams lie frozen in time.
Can Bess face her past, finally come clean to Mario, and claim the love she has longed to fully experience all these years?
Set over two timelines 1984 we meet Bessie, 16 years old, best friends with Michelle and a sweet family. The second is 2021, Bessie is all grown, married and hasn't spoken to Michelle in decades, her best friend in the whole world. We flip between the two periods, meeting happy go lucky Bessie, loved and the world as her Oyster. 2021 Bessie is bitter, cold, self absorbed and despite a loving husband she is quite unhappy and I would say even lonely.
The two timelines go back and forth, each revealing a bit more information and bringing the reader into the circle. It covers some hard hitting topics as Prowse does tend to do, I don't want to give anything away as we don't do spoiler reviews but it centres around families, deceit, distrust, betrayal, loss, love, friendship and family to name a few.
We also see how things from our past, especially when we don't deal with them can have long reach and ripples long into our future. I have a few Prowse books on the tbrm, the pace isn't break neck by any standards but it reveals its layers as you go, 4/5 for me.