Lisa Jewell is one of Britain’s best-selling writers—and reading her new novel, it’s not hard to see why. James Walton gives us the lowdown on a book that had him "gripped".
In the classic manner, the central character Alice is slightly chaotic but fundamentally good-hearted—and in this case living on the Yorkshire coast with her three children.
By the third page, the plot is already under way, when she spots a handsome fortysomething man sitting on the beach. His name is… well, he doesn’t know, because he’s suffering from severe amnesia that also means he doesn’t know why he’s there or where he’s come from.
Meanwhile in Surrey, a wife is reporting the disappearance of her handsome fortysomething husband to the police.
At this stage, people who haven’t read Jewell before may think they realise what’s going on. In fact, the truth—revealed with enormous teasing skill—is packed with more twists, and genuine sadness, than anybody could possibly expect.
Admittedly, the book does have moments of contrivance—but they’re exceptionally well-contrived.
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