Never Say Goodbye by Susan Lewis

This is a compelling and deeply moving novel of friendship, family and the power of love, from the Sunday Times top ten bestseller. How would you cope with the threat of losing someone you love? Josie Clark is a loving wife and mother. She and her husband Jeff don't have much and it's often difficult to make ends meet. But Josie will do anything to protect her family and keep them safe. Bel Monkton is a successful property developer, living in a beautiful house by the sea. She seems to have everything going for her, but she's lonely. And she's let the shadows from her past cloud her future. Josie's life couldn't be more different to Bel's. But three years ago, tragedy tore Bel's life in two. Now it's happening to Josie. And faced with uncertainty and heartbreak, they come to treasure their growing friendship.

To begin with this is a book of two halves,so much so it is as if it has been written by two different writers.
Josie and her husband are just making ends meet. Jeff is working as a taxi driver with not enough work to even pay for repairs to his car. Josie is working at as many jobs as she can, cleaning houses and working in a cafe. Her son is in prison,ignored by his father and her daughter is planning a wedding.
 Josie has no time and can't afford to be ill but events are moving so fast that she won't be able to keep her secret for much longer.

The other story is about the more affluent Bel who's twin sister lost her life to cancer leaving behind a husband and two young children. Nick, the children's father has already re- married and Bel is finding it hard to accept his new wife, Kirsten.
Bel has no money worries she lives in the kind of house Josie cleans for a living and she loves buying and renovating buildings.
Like all good books the two stories merge and Bel and Josie meet. The two women would never have been within each others social circles but when something brings them together they have an incredible effect on each other.

Yes this book is a tearjerker and if your life has been touched by cancer you might find it a hard read but the uplifting parts of the book outweigh the sadness.
These two woman from very different lives find common ground between them born out of love for their respective families. One has to learn to compromise,to give and take and move on with her life.
The other has to allow others who love her to shoulder some of the burden and try not to do everything on her own. She also finds a strength she never knew she had with a surprising outcome.
I found it hard to put this book down and although I shed tears  it didn't leave me with a sense of despair but with hope and the rosy glow of the friendship that Bel and Josie had for each other. Another great read from Susan Lewis.
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  1. I felt the lump rising in my throat as I read your review, Anne. One of my dearest friends is battling with cancer at the moment. I have another close friend to it as well, so I know this would be hard to read, but it sounds like a touching story, so maybe I should try it. Thank you as always, dear Anne, for reviews that inspire me to try new books!

  2. That was meant to be I have lost another close friend to cancer…sorry, words just disappear now and then!

    1. So sorry about your friends Val. The story had a lot of good things throughout it and I didn't shed as many tears as I have done at some other books.


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