It took me just a week to finish this book and I found it both disturbing and uplifting. I hope these notes are useful.
The story was too close to home for me to be entirely comfortable. I had great empathy with Will’s parents and Louisa (Clark) who were closest too him.
The character of Nathan was well drawn. I have met people like him, caring but able to be professional at all times without allowing emotion to affect their job.
Louisa was unable to distance herself and went through the whole gamut from feeling angry with Will, intimidated by his mother and shocked by his father’s ‘bit on the side’. She was driven by desperation to save Will from himself, and, having fallen in love with him, was distraught when her mission failed.
Within this rollercoaster of emotion, and taunted by Will to open herself to new experiences, she began to see the world, and her life, differently. She emerged at the end a much stronger, capable woman.
I know, from my own experience, that suddenly having to take full responsibility for everything, when you were used to sharing it with your husband, is very hard but I found hidden depths in myself and, like Louisa, I grew stronger.
I found it less easy to accept her relationship with her sister, having always been close to my own but their situation was very different. There was deep jealousy and resentment that everything had always revolved around Treena. Now, as adults, the situation was the same and Louisa’s wage went into the family housekeeping.
I thought the contrast between the wealthy and poor was an additional theme and helped us to understand why Louisa’s life had been so narrow.
Finally I must give it a star rating. I give it 4 out of five and I have bought the sequel, ‘After You’.