I have just this minute finished Anna Mansell’s beautiful new book, so I apologise in advance if my ramblings aren’t as coherent as normal. Many thanks to Bookouture for asking me to take part in the blog tour today, and for the ARC. I am honoured to be able to share my review today.
Your best friend deserves the truth. But it will ruin her life. What would you do?
In summer, the small Cornish village of Gorran Haven fills with tourists, but in the colder months its pretty narrow streets are blissfully quiet, the bell on the village shop door rings only for locals, the beach is unspoilt, empty and safe.
It’s been over twenty years since four very different teenage girls sat on that beach, and swore to be best friends forever. Their lives went different ways after Emily left. But each remembered that promise. And none truly found friendship like it again.
Now, Emily’s back, with a secret she can’t face. She tries to hide away, take time to heal and make some difficult choices, but she runs into one of her old friends, and soon the four are reunited. Lolly, warm as ever, is a successful physiotherapist, married with kids. Yet smart, strong Amanda, who cherishes her teenage daughter, is alone and seemingly stuck in a dead-end job. And creative Jess is so much quieter than Emily remembers.
The bond is still there, and Emily realises their friendship might keep her together, but there are reasons why the women fell out of touch. Secrets that have lain dormant for decades start to surface, and then one of the women discovers a betrayal so big, it could turn each of their lives upside down.
It’s always those we’re closest to who have the power to tear us apart. Can friendship give Emily and her friends the strength to survive a devastating shock, or are some things unforgiveable?
What does TWG think?
Can someone fish out the lump from my throat please, like, pronto?!
Wow, wow, wow – what a wonderful bunch of characters Emily, Amanda, Lolly and Jess are! Amanda is the fiery, sassy type of personality who hides her heart behind her bravado. Emily is the peace keeper of the group who is afraid to take the stand out of her comfort zone, but she has to. Lolly is a lady who wants to be happy and loved, often settling for second best. And Jess, the one who is misunderstood because she doesn’t even understand herself and is afraid to admit that her life changed due to something out of her control.
Without giving too much away, I adored Emily because of the similarity between her and I. I can’t really say what that is, but the way in which she was portrayed in the book made me so emotional and has got to be the best described character in her situation, I think I have ever read. Finally an author has made it positive instead of turning it into a negative. I’ll let you think about what I could be meaning!
My heart went out to each of the ladies as they had their lives rocked by various different events. I thought the way in which they all came together when they needed someone the most, was so beautiful and made me quite sad that I don’t have that around me. Yes, I’m jealous of fictional characters. In all seriousness though, I adored their closeness and the way that they flourished as a group of friends. I mean really, there’s a lot of people who would run a mile if they came face to face with half of the stuff that those gals did!!
Anna Mansell never fails to deliver with witty humour, beautifully thought-provoking situations, and an overall storyline which makes the world a much better place. This author writes from the heart and makes her readers embark on a journey which not only makes them laugh, it gives them food for thought in regards to their own lives. Yes, I’m speaking from experience.
‘My Best Friend’s Secret’ is definitely a ride to hold onto with both hands as, from start to finish, the storyline engulfed my heart as I followed the journey of four of the strongest women I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. This book isn’t just a eye-opening, shock inducing read which puts all of the skeletons in the closet, directly under the spotlight. It’s a novel which makes you look at the bigger picture, think about what you want from life, and help you believe that you do deserve to be happy, even when you have to endure a lot of pain beforehand.
Can someone hug me now? I loved this book and everything it stood for, and I loved just how much heart the author put into her storyline and the characters.
About the author.
Anna had a brush with ‘fame’ as a magician’s assistant back in 1977. She later decided that being sawn in half by her magical performing father, at barely 6 months old, was too submissive a role. She vowed to channel the trauma in to something much more pro-actively creative. Having failed at acting, singing and professional murder mystery parties (she was ALWAYs the one to die!), she fell to something much more solitary: writing. She has written three novels, published by Bookouture, her fourth – HER BEST FRIEND’S SECRET – comes out on April 1st, 2019. Anna lives on a dairy farm in Cornwall with her two children, her husband, and her ex-racing greyhound, Olive Dog.