‘You, Me, Everything’ is Catherine Isaac’s debut novel.
Sick of her boyfriend Adam’s lying and cheating, Laura throws him out only months after giving birth to their son. While she brings up William with the help of her mum, Susan, Adam moves to France to follow his dreams. But ten years on, Susan is battling a debilitating disease, aged just 53, and she convinces her daughter that William needs his father in his life. So, in their first trip abroad in years, Laura and ten-year-old William set off to spend the summer at Chateau de Roussignol, in the sunlit hills of the Dordogne, where Adam now lives. Laura is determined is to make Adam fall in love with his own son. But the problem isn’t only that he’s an unwilling participant in this game. It’s that Laura is tormented by a secret of her own, one that nobody – especially William – must discover.
If you haven’t heard of Catherine Issac then I’m sure you’ve heard of her other writing name, Jane Costello. Jane has written nine novels, all filled with humour and charm that make for the perfect escapism read.
In her first book, writing as Catherine Issac, although there is the sharp injection of Jane’s humour, there is also a beautiful tenderness to this love story that made the book a struggle to put down.
In this story, we meet single mother Jess and her son, William who head off to France as Jess wants William to bond with his father. Even though, Adam broke Jess’s heart, she wants them to have a relationship and spend more time together despite the distance.
Jess isn’t entirely happy about this situation, but goes ahead with the plan, more so to keep her mother happy. Her mother, is terminally ill with Huntington’s disease, an illness that is rapidly taking over her body and one of her wishes, is that William has a relationship with his father.
The story is written in the first person and is seen solely through Jess’s narrative. She’s a kind hearted woman, who never really got over the heartbreak that Adam caused her and tries to hide her resentful feelings from William. Meanwhile, William is wildly curious about life and loves nothing more than sharing random facts. I loved the scenes with William and Jess, where they argued over ownership of the iPad and he battled with his occasionally embarrassing mother.
The main subject of the story is Jess’s mothers ongoing battle with Huntington’s Disease and regularly flashes back to when Jess was a teenager and her mother began to show symptoms of the illness. What’s terrifying to read is that in all the advancements in medicine and technology, there is no known cure for the illness and once contracted, the illness has a 50/50 chance of being passed onto a child. Catherine has thoroughly researched the illness and provides background information for those who have never heard of it.
To say that this story is beautifully written would be an understatement and it’s no surprise that it’s already being adapted for film.
It’s gentle, flows at a lovely pace and for every tearjerking moment, there’s a gentle joke to lighten the mood.
A story that stays with you long after you reached the final page, ‘You, Me, Everything’ is an enchanting tale about love, new beginnings and most importantly, hope.
You can pre-order You Me Everything from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 20th September 2018.