Friday, 4 October 2013

Book review: When You Walked Back Into My Life by Hilary Boyd


My edition: Paperback, to be published on 10 October 2013 by Quercus, 424 pages.

Description: 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?


Rating:




Flora lives in the basement of her sister Prue's flat and she is a private nurse for an elderly lady by the name of Dorothea. Nursing doesn't provide her with much of income, and can certainly not be compared to her previous exciting yet hectic job in A&E, but paying little rent to her sister she just about manages and she does enjoy her work and cares greatly for Dorothea. However, her life is turned upside when the love of her life makes a reappearance after a not very amicable split eight years before. Fin is an avid mountain climber and got into a major accident which brought him back to England, and to the girl he left one day without any explanation or even a note to say that he wasn't coming back.

Yet despite this horrible selfish action on Fin's part and the depressed state Flora found herself in after he disappeared without a trace, all her feelings for her ex-boyfriend resurface as soon as she lays eyes on him again and it doesn't take much for him to convince her to give their relationship another chance. But is Fin finally willing to put his selfish tendencies aside in favour of Flora's feelings, and can Flora ever truly feel like she can trust him again?

The cover to this novel is absolutely stunning and so inviting! The image above doesn't do justice to how pretty it is, the colours pop much more on my physical copy and the embossed title really adds to the appeal. It looks particularly gorgeous next to my other Hilary Boyd books, which also have beautifully coloured leaves on the front, and with the beautiful pink and blue touches this is my favourite yet. The colours go very well together and with the serene image depicted it gives the novel a delicate and sweet feel.

As for the story, while I liked and sympathised with Flora there were also many times I wanted to slap some sense in her. For a woman her age she was incredibly naive and unperceptive when it came to those closest to her and I wanted nothing more than for Flora to come to the same realisations I did much earlier on in the novel (so the story that was developing in the final few chapters had more of a chance to be explored). I realise that the setbacks were necessary for Flora to grow as a person and finally see the people around them for who they really were but it did make me feel impatient with her and annoyed at some of her decisions.

However, this isn't just the story of Flora (and to a lesser extent Fin). Some of the smaller characters are just as interesting and I was particularly taken by Flora's 15-year-old niece Bel, who is wise beyond her years, handsome doctor Simon Kent and of course Dorothea, who despite her advanced years and deteriorating health is still sharper of mind than many around her give her credit for. 

Speaking of Dorothea, I'd also like to say that I admire author Hilary Boyd for tackling the difficult topic of elderly care and all the implications that come with this, including the risk of other people trying to take advantage of the elderly and vulnerable and possibly even abuse them (mentally and physically). It's a heartbreaking subject to read about, but also one that I truly believe needs more exposure so hopefully people become more aware of how big of an issue this actually is and can take precautions to prevent this from happening to their own loved ones.

You can pre-order your copy of When You Walked Back Into My Life from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Waterstones or your own preferred retailer.



Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online on Twitter at: @HilaryBoyd


Many thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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