Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The First Wife by Emily Barr

A book I picked up at this year's book festival. The theme made me think of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, but it is nothing like it. Lily Button grew up with her grand parents after her own parents deserted her at a young age and emigrated to New Zealand. When they die she is on her own, without much experience of either life and other people.

She ends up in a city nearby and is happy to run into Al who is working for a municipality center, advising and helping people in need. He inspires her to get a job, guides her in educational matters and finding a place to live. She ends up in a family with divorced parents and children from their different marriages. It is a total new daily life for Lily compared to the quiet life she had with her grand parents. Slowly, slowly she starts embrace a normal life. She finds several jobs cleaning people's house. One house belongs to Harry and Sarah Summer. He is a lawyer and famous TV personality. She gets enthralled by their house and their life. When Sarah dies during a holiday in Barcelona, she is there to comfort the devastated widower.

It is a rather slow book as far as action is concerned, at least in the beginning. But it really helps building up the characters and gives us time to get to know Lily and her world. The story develops nevertheless all right and in the last part of the book it speeds up. Lily is charming and you really feel with her and you are happy when she is doing well. It is not just an ordinary love story, but mixed with a little bit of a mystery. Not all people are what they seem to be. It is a very well written and easily read story which also makes you think about life and its relations.

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