What if a tragedy occurred and you only had yourself to blame? How do you move on from the past?
Alex Foster lives a quiet life, avoiding the home she hasn’t visited in eight years. Then her sister Jaime calls. Their mother is sick, and Alex must return. Suddenly she’s plunged back into the past she’s been trying to escape.
Returning to her hometown, memories of the tragic accident that has haunted her and her family are impossible to ignore. Alex still blames herself for what happened to her brother and it’s soon clear that her father holds her responsible too. As Alex struggles to cope, can she ever escape the ghosts of the past?
After a tragic accident that resulted in the death of her younger brother when Alex was looking after him as a teenager, she was naturally keen to escape the family home and the heartbreak of her parents as soon as possible.
Alex is now living a quiet and rather lonely life as an adult and hasn’t returned home for eight years. She still blames herself for what happened, as she is certain her Dad does, too.
However, when Alex gets a phone call from her sister, Jem, alerting her that their mother is seriously ill in hospital, she has no choice but to return to Eilidh Falls. As if dreading the memories and tensions that her visit home is sure to bring wasn’t bad enough, she also ends up bumping into her first real love, Finn. Alex associates Finn with much more than a broken heart – Alex was with him the day that her brother, Dill, died and came to accept the fact that they could never be together, not after all that happened. Alex’s Dad would never accept it for one thing…
Things are pretty grim upon Alexs’ return home. As well as the awkward relationship with her father, it seems that Jem is hiding more than she’s letting on as well. How many secrets can one family take until they are torn apart? It soon becomes apparent that if the secrets don’t ruin this family, then the past will…
It’s impossible not to become completely engrossed with Letting You Go right from the off. Anouska Knight kicks off the story back in 2004 at the scene of the tragedy that caused Dill Foster to lose his life. You will be immediately hooked from here on in in a desperate attempt to know what happened not only at the time, but to the Foster family all those years later.
It’s such an awful thing that happened, to everyone involved. Your heart can’t help but break for the whole family – not only Dill and his parents but for Alex and Finn, too. You cannot help but put yourself in Alexs’ shoes and try and conjure up a fraction of the guilt, pain and regret she must have felt.
The way she has disconnected from Eilidh Falls as an adult and how she denies herself love and happiness because of what happened is extremely sad. I really felt for Alex when she knew she had to return to her hometown and face all of the hundreds of demons – including her own father – that would be waiting for her.
It wasn’t long into the story that many, many questions started popping into my head. The more the story developed the more intrigued I became and before I knew it I was desperate to get to the bottom of what certain characters were hiding and to find out exactly what was going on. The way that Anouska drops small hints as to what certain characters are hiding is done in such a way that you won’t be able to stop reading until all is revealed. I love it when a book can do this to me. I also love it when a book can bring an array of emotions to the forefront of my mind and that’s another thing that Letting You Go did in abudance.
You might assume that Letting You Go will be a novel full of upset and hurt but the way in which the story develops shows that this is not the case at all. It’s also about hope, forgiveness and the importance of family. The way in which Anouska writes about family and explores how grief, guilt and secrets can so easily tear one family apart is fantastic. Despite Alex being our main narrator, we are also given a detailed insight into other characters too. This worked really well and certainly helped with piecing all the parts of the story together.
Packed full of emotion, this is a gorgeous novel which will evoke so many feelings in the reader. It’s full of heart and hope and shows just how much of a talented writer Anouska Knight is – the way in which she has crafted the story and brought the characters to life is simply wonderful. I also love how there is, of course, an element of romance within the story (fear not, romance fans!) However it’s not over-done and fits just nicely alongside everything else that is going on.
A novel that proves that it really is impossible to hide from your own life and does so in the most uplifting and powerful way.
A huge thank you to Cara at Harlequin for sending me a copy of Letting You Go for review. ♥
Since securing the top prize in a widely-publicized UK writing contest, Anouska Knight has become an international sensation with her debut novel, SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE, hitting both The Bookseller and Heatseekers bestseller lists and securing praise from the likes of Jackie Collins and Jenny Colgan. A former bakery owner, she has gone on to wide acclaim in her native England and now writes full-time, currently on her next novel for Harlequin Mills & Boon. Anouska lives in Staffordshire close to the countryside where she grew up, with husband Jim, her childhood sweetheart, and their two young boys. When she’s not writing she’s still often found baking, and will whip up a cake at the drop of a hat if asked nicely.