Emma Willshire has overcome plenty of obstacles in her life. From student bride to single mum of a son, Owen, but she has found happiness with her second husband, Paul and another child, Mollie. Emma’s dark days seem far behind her until a fatal accident happens at Paul’s work and he is held responsible.
On holiday in France, Paul’s behaviour turns erratic. On impulse, he buys a cheap, dilapidated property and, to Emma’s dismay, persuades her they can renovate it into a holiday home.
Back in England, their problems spiral out of control. Escape to a new life in France seems the only solution but with heart-breaking loss for Emma. As the couple strive to renovate their ruin and open a small business, shadows from the past threaten their happiness and safety. Because, how can you build a new life on toxic foundations?
I was really intrigued by the blurb for this book, I started reading the story and I really got caught up in the plot.
I thought that the plot was well planned out and I did enjoy the author’s writing style, she has created some really good characters. I liked the length of the chapters and the way the story was told from the different perspectives of the characters too, this has to be my favourite way for author’s to tell their stories.
I enjoyed the pace for the majority of the book, but I will be honest and admit did find it a little too slow in places and I do feel that some of the content could have been stripped back to make it more of a faster paced, punchy read throughout but that is my personal preference only and others may really enjoy it as it stands.
It is 3.5 stars from me for this one rounded up to 4 stars for Goodreads and Amazon, I enjoyed it and would be interested to see what else she brings out!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Matthews is the author of Lies Behind the Ruin, a contemporary suspense novel set in France, to be published in April 2019 by Hashtag Press. Her debut novel After Leaving the Village, published in 2017, won first prize for the opening pages of a novel at Winchester Writers’ Festival. Born in Cardiff, she read English at the University of Liverpool and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. Helen’s short stories and flash fiction have won prizes and been published in Reflex Fiction, Ad Hoc, Artificium, Scribble and Love Sunday. Her freelance journalism has been published in the Guardian and broadcast on BBC radio. She is an ambassador for Unseen, a charity that campaigns to end human trafficking and modern slavery.
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