Friday, 9 December 2016
All I Ever Wanted by Lucy Dillon
Caitlin's life is a mess. Her marriage to a man everyone else thinks is perfect has collapsed, along with her self-esteem, and breaking free seems the only option.
Nancy, her four-year-old daughter, used to talk all the time; in the car, at nursery, to her brother Joel. Then her parents split up. Her daddy moves out. And Nancy stops speaking.
Nancy's Auntie Eva, recently widowed and feeling alone, apart from the companionship of two bewildered pugs, is facing a future without her husband or the dreams she gave up for him.
But when Eva agrees to host her niece and nephew once a fortnight, Caitlin and Eva are made to face the different truths about their marriages - and about what they both really want . . .
All I Ever Wanted is the most heart-warming book I have read in 2016 and probably in about the last three to four years. It really touches you right at the core, warms your cockles and makes you believe in love, hope and happiness.
For me, the real stars of this novel are the two children, ten year old Joel and four year old Nancy. Following their parent’s estrangement, Nancy stops talking in public. She will only talk to her mum in whispers and in the safety of their home. Joel is the only one to really understand Nancy throughout this time and the two together just melt your heart. Lucy Dillon has managed to portray the importance of letting children be children and work through their emotions in their own time. Sometime you have to become a child to truly understand one.
All the characters in this book were brilliantly developed and I gained a real insight into their lives. From Caitlin, always feeling like a failure, Eva who has to re-learn everything about herself and the people she loves and Patrick, the controlling workaholic, who actually has a heart of gold and always wants the best for his children and wife.
Of course, in more ways than one, it is the children (and the pugs) that save this family. I won’t say anymore as not to spoil the story for anyone but I can wholeheartedly say that this book will make you laugh and cry and want more. It is simply beautiful.
Thank you to the author, publishers NetGalley for access to this book in return for an honest review.
My rating: 5/5
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