Captivating must-read story. A perfect gift for the literary fiction reader in your life
This is one of those rare books that you read, you evangelise and you end up buying for all your friends. It’s the captivating story of Oliver, who was bewitched as a child by a glimpse of a delapidated but beautiful house. Many years later he finds himself dating the descendant of the house’s former owner. She’s just inherited the house and wants to renovate it before cashing in and selling. Dreamy Oliver can’t believe she’d want to part with it but volunteers to clear the house while she is away on a business trip. Clearly at a crossroads in his own life, Oliver finds the house still exerts a pull on him, especially once he discovers the fragments of a diary hidden in a book as he clears the house contents.
The chapters alternate between Oliver’s account of becoming increasingly drawn in to the diarist’s life and those of Sophia, whose diary he is reading: a distant voice recounting the life of a woman trapped in a marriage with a shell shocked WW1 veteran and
who is desperate for love and learning. As he reads on, Oliver realises his own life could do with some new direction too. But he has to clear the house in preparation for its sale. Will he find the whole of the diary before he leaves…and what became of its author? A delight from start to finish, beautifully written and realised.