It is a refreshing change to read a story about two more mature women, aged 58 and 60 at the start of the novel. They have a lifetime of memories, happiness and sadness, baggage – good and bad – as well as broken hearts and life changing regrets, and it makes them totally real. College room mates 40 years before this begins, soul mates torn apart by one’s acceptance of family pressure, financial and social, they meet by accident and are instantly drawn back together, despite the hurt, the anger and the span of time and distance between them.
On the surface it’s a second chance romance, but the depth and feeling make it a love story that spans these women’s lives. As we delve into the emotions and actions that have shaped their existence it becomes increasingly clear that they have both settled, and yet always been unsettled, by lesser emotions and shallow relationships – one perhaps knowingly, the other without realising why she can’t commit.
It’s slow burn, they aren’t teenagers making out in the back of cars. It’s emotional yet gentle, despite the pressure of time, they have done the first passionate romance and are now far more aware of the need to let things develop, to allow themselves to re-grow those connections and rediscover each others souls. And they are both aware that mucking this up would mean the loss of an amazing chance to reconnect.
I loved it. I loved the fact that we learn snippets of the past without having full-blown flashbacks. That it deals with real issues mature women face, like menopause, the decline and loss of parents, the concerns of aging and the knowledge of time passing. That these women and many of their colleagues and friends have such deep long term relationships and knowledge of each other that they don’t play games, they don’t need to walk on ice, they just cut to the chase with full frontal honesty.
Extremely well written and crafted this is simply a wonderful exploration of love across time, and how these mature women have settled into themselves enough to accept who they are and respect who each other has become.
(publisher review copy received)
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