Monday, 4 April 2016

The Way We Were by Sinead Moriarty

When Alice's husband Ben dies suddenly, her world falls apart. They shared twenty years and two daughters and life without him is unimaginable.
Having lost her parents while young, Alice understands her girls' pain. At fifteen, Jools is at that awkward age and only Ben could get through to her. And eleven-year-old Holly looks for the answer to everything in books but this time she's drawing a blank. Alice realizes that for their sakes she must summon up superhuman reserves of strength.
Somehow all three of them come through the dark days. In time, it's even possible for Alice to consider marrying again, with the girls' blessing. So when Ben turns up after three years, her world is again turned upside-down. The girls assume that their family can go back to the way they were. Alice is not so sure.
Once more Alice has to find the strength to be the mother her daughters need her to be. But this time what that means is far from clear ...

This book was a bit of a roller coaster ride. Ben came across as a selfish man who although he loved his wife and daughters he also wanted adventure. He thought his job as a surgeon was far more important and exhausting than his wife Alice's job as a GP. Ben never gives it a thought that Alice is perhaps not doing the job that she always dreamt of when she was at university but is a GP because she has a family to look after.
Against Alice's wishes Ben makes a decision to follow his dream and that's when his family implodes.
When he doesn't come home everyone falls apart. His daughters find their own ways of coping and none of it is healthy. Alice is completely devasted and her brother Kevin is the only one who can hold the family together. 
Two years later and just when everyone's lives are finally making sense again Ben returns.

I read this book in one sitting as I could not put it down. The chapters go between how Alice and the girls are coping and what is happening to Ben which is nail biting stuff. Some chapters are told from the youngest daughter Holly's point of view. 
When I first saw the title I immediately thought of the song from the film The Way We Were and I think the lyrics of the song go very well with this book. 
I still can't make my mind up if I'm happy the way things went at the end of the book. I think for the reader it was a bit bittersweet. It was probably the right ending but it could have went either way. 
I'm now maybe giving away too much of the story and while I would love to tell you what happens it's the journey to the ending that's the best so I'll let you read it for yourself.

1 comment:

  1. Oh oh, yes, I can imagine it was a rollercoaster, Anne! Great review!


The Man I Fell in Love With by Kate Field

Sometimes we find happiness where we least expect it… After twenty years of contented marriage, no one is more surprised than Mary...