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The Anniversary By Hilary Boyd

'The Anniversary‘The Anniversary’ is the latest book by Hilary Boyd.

Stella once thought that if she never saw Jack again, it would be too soon. But life has other plans for her and her stubborn, handsome ex-husband. Looking after their daughter in a time of need, Stella finds herself unwillingly reunited with the man she shared the best years of her life with – followed by the worst. Where tragedy once tore them apart, now Stella and Jack are being drawn back together. But each of them has a new partner and a new life. Should they fight temptation? Should the past remain the past? Or are some loves simply meant to be?

‘The Anniversary’ is a sweet and tender about love and growing old. Jack and Stella thought their love was forever, until a death of their child drove them apart. Now, years later their only daughter is expecting their grandchild and they are spending time together for the first time in years.

I have read a few of Hilary’s books and I’ve come to enjoy her warm-hearted stories of love and friendships that come together neatly together in the end and ‘The Anniversary’ is no different.

The story is seen through the narrative of both characters and flows back and forth in past and present sequences, setting the scenes for the reader as they fall in and out of love and the dramatic events unfurl before them.

Both characters are interesting people, Stella is a kind and considerate woman who never got over the loss of her little boy, she’s always felt responsible for his death and found she was unable to move on, being constantly reminded off him. Like Stella, Jack also felt responsible for Johnny’s death but he wanted to carry on and make the most of life, much to Stella’s dismay.

Now, years later they have both moved on and are in new relationships, but they find old feelings returning much to their surprise and they begin to tentatively form a friendship and speak openly about their past and their future, particularly with their grandchild approaching.

This is a very enjoyable story, that is poignant and tender in parts, a story of loss that really tugs at the heartstrings. ‘The Anniversary’ is a lovely story to curl up with, with sweet character and the odd funny moment throughout, this book is perfect for fans of Patricia Scanlan.

You can pre-order The Anniversary from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 20th September 2018.

Thursdays In The Park By Hilary Boyd

'Thursdays In The Park‘Thursdays In The Park’ was originally released in 2011 as an ebook and due to its phenomenal success, it’s been reissued as a book to mark its fifth anniversary.

Jeanie has been married for thirty years, but her husband George has become so cold and distant she may as well be alone. Surely, at just sixty, a loveless marriage can’t be the only thing left on the horizon? Then, one Thursday in autumn, Jeanie meets Ray in the park, and a chance meeting blossoms into a friendship. They talk, laugh, share hopes and secrets and heartbreaks.They offer each other a second chance at life and love. But will they have the courage to take it?

The story is seen solely through the eyes of Jeanie, a woman who is on the cusp of turning 60 and she’s far from wanting to slow down in life. Her marriage was fine until one day ten years ago her husband George suddenly left their bedroom without any explanation. For years, Jeanie wondered what happened between the two of them but George refuses to talk about it and is convinced that their marriage is still the same as it was. Upset and tired of being taken for granted, Jeanie stumbles upon a kind stranger in the park one Thursday when they are both out with their grandchildren. Ray helps Jeanie see the bright side of life, he helps her believe that life doesn’t end when she reaches 60 even though George thinks otherwise. The pair of them embark on a tentative friendship as they both deal with knew unexpected feeling.

Although I enjoyed this book and for the majority I found it made for pleasant reading, I did find elements of it frustrating particularly scenes with George. I found him to be a petulant and stubborn character, who treated Jeanie unfairly. He refused to tell her what changed between them that night even though he regularly proclaims declarations of love, also with calling Jeanie “old girl” all the time, I found him annoying. He thinks he knows what’s best for Jeanie and decides to uproot them to the countryside even though Jeanie is opposed to the idea.

Fortunately Jeanie finds solace in the company of little Ellie, her sweet granddaughter and her outspoken best friend Rita. Meanwhile Ray injects an element of tenderness to this tale, as he cares for Jeanie and has a genuine connection with her, he’s her escape from the unhappiness of her marriage.

Cleverly written from the beginning, this book provides a frank and honest account of when marriages become stale. ‘Thursdays In The Park’ is a poignant and lighthearted story about starting over and how life doesn’t have to end when you hit 60.

You can buy Thursdays in the Park from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

Quercus Books Reissue Thursdays In The Park By Hilary Boyd

'Thursdays In The ParkTo celebrate the fifth anniversary of Hilary Boyd’s, successful ebook ‘Thursdays In The Park’, Quercus are reissuing the book featuring reading group questions and the first chapter of Hilary’s beautiful new book, ‘The Lavender House’.

The story of ‘Thursdays In The Park’ is

Jeanie has been married for thirty years, but her husband George has become so cold and distant she may as well be alone. Surely, at just sixty, a loveless marriage can’t be the only thing left on the horizon? Then, one Thursday in autumn, Jeanie meets Ray in the park, and a chance meeting blossoms into a friendship.

They talk, laugh, share hopes and secrets and heartbreaks.

They offer each other a second chance at life and love.

But will they have the courage to take it?

Originally released in ebook in 2011, Thursdays in the Park became a #1 Kindle bestseller, at one point overtaking Fifty Shades of Grey. It sold over half a million copies in ebook as well as over 60,000 paperbacks. ‘Thursdays in the Park’ has been optioned by screenwriter, director and actor Charles Dance with shooting scheduled to begin early next year.

You can buy Thursdays in the Park from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

When You Walked Back Into My Life By Hilary Boyd

When You Walked Back Into My Life ‘When You Walked Back Into My Life’ is by Hilary Boyd.

For eight years Flora’s love affair with Fin was a whirlwind of fun and spontaneity – but when Flora wanted to settle down and have children, Fin vanished. Life moved on and Flora’s world filled with other people, other cares. There were benefits to being single – no socks under the bed, no mess in the bathroom – even if the memory of Fin could never be completely erased. But then suddenly, shockingly, Fin reappears. He’s a changed man, he says, and her wants her back. Is this a chance to put right the wrongs? Or a massive mistake?

This is the first book that I’ve read by Hilary Boyd and I enjoyed it immensely. With a strong storyline and a cast of great characters, I found it impossible to put down. The story is written in the third person, from the perspective of Flora, a gentle and kindhearted nurse who’s heart was left broken when her boyfriend Fin suddenly disappears one night. Confused as to why he suddenly left, Flora finds herself falling apart and relying on her older sister Prue to help her through the breakdown. But years later, just as Flora begins to get her life back on track, Fin returns wanting to talk, explain why things happened and to see if they can carry on where they left off even though he disappeared for no reason.

One of the reasons I enjoyed this book, was because it was packed with such frustrating characters mainly Fin, who I disliked from the very beginning. He was a weak and selfish man who didn’t show much remorse for his actions and behaviour. He expected Flora just to be able move on regardless of how badly he treated her and this annoyed me beyond belief! Understandingly Flora’s family is against the reunion, particularly Prue who is worried Fin will hurt Flora all over again. Flora feels completely alone and unsure of the relationship, although she is  delighted with Fin’s returns, she worries that history will repeat itself. She finds comfort in her job as a carer looking after an elderly lady called Dorothea during her last days even though Fin belittles her job. The main part of the story is about Flora and Fin’s relationship, there are a couple of smaller stories woven through the book that come together neatly at the end. This book was a joy to read, filled with warmth, charm and an addictive storyline, ‘When You Walked Back Into My Life’ is a tender and poignant story that was a fabulous introduction to a new author.

You can When You Walked Back into My Life from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.