I was so pleased to be a part of this blog tour, but unfortunately my review is a lot later than it should have been. I didn’t want to post a review based on how much I had read when it was my turn to publish as this book deserves so much more than that.
Mine is based in London in 1968 and we are educated in the ways of office, sexual and social politics. Lilly, the leading lady, has been an evacuee in the countryside and upon her return went to work in a factory as a seamstress but takes herself off to night classes in order to learn to become a typist. She literally works her way from a sewing girl up to a cashier in a solicitors firm in the city-this is where we actually meet her and pick up the story.
Lilly and Jack have been married twenty years, their eldest daughter is an unmarried, teenage mother living at home (unheard of and rather scandalous still in those days) and their youngest daughter is still in her primary school years. Jack works as a chauffeur and his brother is married to Lilly’s life long best friend. It should be a very happy scenario despite the scandalous teenager. But it is not.
The one thing Jack didn’t count on is his wife out growing him and their marriage (which, let’s face it, does happen all too often still) and we see Jack observing his wife becoming distant. While the one thing Lilly didn’t count on, is her undeniable and silent crush on her boss Leonard being reciprocated; a chance evening at the ballet and one small out-of-the-office job see this pair embarking on a passionate and wild affair where hearts are broken and lives are lost. Without giving too much away, it was tense and incredible and also very sad.
Normally a plot wrapped around a steamy affair isn’t my cup of tea (I’m no prude but romance isn’t for me right now and sex is just so off the table it’s unreal, and frankly, I could really do without the details) BUT the line that sold this title to me was “no happily ever after” and it clicked that this wasn’t your typical romance or office affair. And reading the end notes from Knight after the last chapter, it really hit you in the stomach that actually the story you just read was someone’s life and their experience.
Like I said, I don’t want to give too much away or spoil the book, but it seemed utterly complete when the very last pages were turned and it’s important, in fact, it’s vital to read the author note-but don’t be tempted to read it before the book or it’ll give away the plot!
They say never to judge a book by its cover, but the cover by picture of this actually lured me in somewhat and I avoid review pages like the plague when I’m presented with a read that may pique my interest, so I felt like this was going to be menacing, filled with crime and thrilling (like most of the books I’ve read this year) however it was not menacing, filled with crime nor thrilling (in the mystery sense) and I did have the occasional eye-roll moment (not because it was boring but because affairs are just eye-roll inducing to me) but it was still a bloody good read and I’m very glad I made the time to work through it! And all I have to say is well done Alison Knight. You are truly amazing.
Alison has been a legal executive, a registered childminder, a professional fund-raiser and a teacher. She has travelled the world – from spending a year as an exchange student in the US in the 1970s and trekking the Great Wall of China to celebrate her fortieth year and lots of other interesting places in between.
In her mid-forties, Alison went to university part-time and gained a first-class degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and an MA in the same subject from Oxford Brookes University, both while still working full-time. Her first book was published a year after she completed her master’s degree.
Alison co-manages Imagine Creative Writing with author Jenny Kane. She teaches creative and life-writing, runs workshops and retreats for writers as well as working as a freelance editor. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
She lives in Somerset, within sight of Glastonbury Tor.
Mine is available for purchase now at Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. Those with Kindle Unlimited membership can read it for free.