This book review was all scheduled to be posted on Monday and some how I managed to delete it, you can imagine the frustration! Anyhows, lets try again….
I love a new book with the lovely new book smell and fresh untainted pages but I also love a well read book, which as you can see from the picture is exactly what this is. A well thumbed book, indicative of all the hands it has passed through is a story all of its own.
This book came to me by way of my monthly book club and I was very happy it did. Mary Wesley along with other black swan published authors such as Joanna Trollope and Kathleen Rowntree was an author I read lots of at one time. I have very happy memories of tearing my way through these books, so it was a welcome reacquaintance for me and Mary!
Rose loves the erratic, passionate Mylo, but she marries the aristocratic and steady Ned. On their wedding night Ned asks Rose to promise that she will never leave him, and she agrees. Though their long married life Rose bears him a son, fulfils the role of dedicated wife and to all who know her appears to remains true to this promise. Despite this her true love continues to be Mylo and she is helpless to ignore the draw of their passion every time he comes calling, which he does at reasonably regular intervals throughout her marriage.
We are introduced to Rose just after the death of Ned. She is reflecting on life and with her we relive the ups and downs of both those tumultuous relationships throughout the war and beyond. Apart from Rose and Mylo most of the characters are not particularly likeable but all are well drawn provoke a reaction. This is probably due to the insightful understanding of relationships and emotions that Mary Wesley has. I found that I really cared about Rose and if an author has made the reader care about her characters then a good job has been done.
This perhaps appears to be a gentle book on the surface but the reality is, its much deeper than this as it pokes and prods at underlying passions, deceit, and despair. It also in my opinion has an unexpected but wholly appropriate ending.
Reading this has made me want to search my book shelves for other Mary Wesley books, settle into a comfortable armchair and devour the contents in one sitting.