Especially Lucy. She was on my mind for hours and hours after I finished this book. She's a little bit unlikeable in the beginning, but give her time! Because it wasn't long before I was rooting for her to realize her choices weren't good ones and that she could overcome them. And then there's Helen, such heartache she's carried for so very long. The journey these two ladies take together (and separately) is hard, yet needed. They both have their own bits of hardness to conquer in themselves and they encourage each other and push each other to step carefully onward in their lives. It's not an easy road for either of them, but their questions and struggle to find themselves felt real and struck me right in the heart!
All the secondary characters are lovely as well. From Sid and Dillon to Bette, they feel fully formed and add so much to the story. I could picture them going about their lives, even while not on the page. And James! I was a bit disappointed we didn't get more of him, but what we did get....and especially that ending....yes, I quite liked him very nicely. :D
Ms. Reay's love of stories is as prominent as always. She interweaves bits and pieces of classics into her story and I loved catching glimpses and realizing I recognized that part! Sort of like hide and seek, there are so many treasures to be found here for the booklover. :)
I also love the introspectiveness of the plot. It's not really that the characters think a lot, it's more that we are taken on a thoughtful and meandering journey and slowly watch Lucy and Helen find their true selves deep inside. The story takes its time and allows for both ladies, but Lucy most especially, to see themselves in the people, situations, and stories around them. Getting the chance to do this while journeying through England fits so perfectly! Ms. Reay wonderfully draws you around this and that scene that seemingly don't connect....at first. But soon you realize she's taken you around to where it all comes together so beautifully!
If you are a lover of quiet stories filled with delightful nuggets of wisdom and comfort, I highly recommend this one! :)
**I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
Lucy slouched low and bonked her forehead on the table. "I sound ridiculous, but you're right it does hurt-not hearing about my grandfather, but making all the connections down the generations to me. And I criticize my dad for living in stories and I compare my life and family tree to Wuthering Heights. But that's what's upsetting. Where do they end and I begin? My family, not the stories."
"You are your own person and I wouldn't worry about the stories. We all compare our lives to them. That's why we love them: they help us understand ourselves."