In a sudden reversal of fortune, I have been absolutely smashing my reading target for the year over the last few months and I’ve flown through lots and lots of books. One of my favourite things about being a book blogger is receiving exciting books in the post and I definitely have been incredibly lucky the last few months, receiving some amazing books by fantastic authors. One of the books I read recently was The Anniversary by Hilary Boyd, which was kindly sent to me for review by the team at Penguin Books. This book was on my September reading list and I was eager to get stuck into it!
I’ve read two of Hilary’s books before – Thursdays in the Park and When You Walked Back into My Life – and I’m pretty sure I have another of her books on the shelves at my parents’ house as well. The Anniversary follows Stella and Jack, divorced, unable to stand each other’s company. Their daughter Eve is pregnant with her second child and needs her mother’s help because of complications linked to her pregnancy; this requires Stella to move down to live with her daughter – just miles from her ex-husband and his new life. Stella has well and truly moved on, with a long-term partner of her own, but the past can’t stay in the past and the former lovers find themselves reconnecting over a tragedy involving their son. Sparks fly, and the couple reconnect on what seems to be a romantic level. But the story begs the question… should the past be left in the past?
I absolutely loved this story. I loved the characters, I loved the plot, I loved the delicacy of the tragedy. I loved the alternating perspectives and the flashbacks that allowed us to truly explore the couple’s relationship. I loved the focus on Stella and Eve’s relationship and their rebuilding. If I’m honest, the only thing about this story that Ididn’t love was Jack’s new wife Lisa; and let’s be honest… I wasn’t supposed to like her, was I? The book is beautifully tragic and is told in such a heart-warming and sensitive way. I got seriously into the story and found myself becoming frustrated at the decisions that the characters were making. I must admit that I did tear up a little bit at certain points of the story as well – it was very beautifully written and obviously deals with difficult subjects, but Hilary does so wonderfully.
I am more than excited to read more of Hilary Boyd’s books and I’ll be digging out the books I haven’t read yet off my shelves! Thanks to Penguin Books for my finished copy of the book!
5/5. Without a doubt.