This was a very good book that dealt with very disturbing topics. Tina has spent close to four decades unsuccessfully trying to cope with the loss of her twin sister, Meg. Tina carries on convers Incest, death of a child, divorce, parental abandonment, psychoses, abortion, adultery. Cracks are appearing in the marriage as Keaton longs for a healthy relationship. William was the youngest of five children. His brothers Robert and Ambrose have minor parts in the book, but his sister Lucia and brother Edward play prominent roles.
Lucia was six years old when her baby brother was born. She was old enough to be resentful of the attention he received, so she treated William cruelly for years. However, she adored her brother Edward and would go out of her way to please him. Years later, her strong affection for Edward would lead to dark family secrets. Lucia was also present the day Meg died, and she was quick to blame Tina.
With only two witnesses to the accident—one a devious adult, the other a traumatized child—whose recollection of that day is correct? If the subjects in the first sentence of this review trigger an emotional reaction, you may want to avoid this book. Otherwise, expect to find some interesting and unexpected twists in this intriguing narrative. Despite the subject matter, the book does end on a positive note.
Louise Walters is a very talented author, and she has just acquired a new fan! Sep 04, Mo rated it really liked it Shelves: brit-lit , 0-dl , dual-timeline , It has 45 chapters each heralding a different date plus 20 letters from the past inserted into the story at various times. That averages out to a time shift every 3 pages. I think that is just nuts. How in the world are you supposed to establish any type of flow to your reading if the story is constantly being interrupted?
I understand the need for the back and forth, but not the frequency. We pretty much already knew most of what had occurred, and nothing of any significance was revealed. It was a very strange way to end the book. What could he have said to Lucia to make her react the way she did? Since this incident seemed to be a huge turning point in the story, I would have hoped to have been clued in on the details.
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The author is without a doubt a gifted storyteller, and the complexity of her story was impressive. Even though I enjoyed several aspects of the novel, the constant time shifts just about killed me. It became less a story, and more a jigsaw puzzle. In all honesty, I felt the book suffered from the lack of some good editing.
Nov 15, Annette rated it really liked it. Precisely written with information and revealations carefully deployed in the story. Mar 24, Lynn Mccarthy rated it it was amazing Shelves: reviewed-for-netgalley. I liked this book I do like books that alternate between past and present. Its a family saga and a love story with dark secrets, betrayal and redemption. There are 2 main characters Lucia and Tina. Lucia is Tina's aunt and Tina lives in the present day and has secrets about the death of her sister Meg as a child.
A great conclusion to the book I must read this authors other books. Thank you to the Author Netgalley the Publisher for a chance to read this book. View 1 comment.
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Nov 25, Betsy Myers rated it really liked it Shelves: first-reads. I won this book via Goodreads First Reads. This story was instantly engrossing and I found myself reading long in to the night a few times. The secrets in this book were shocking.
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I caught myself talking out loud a few response to something I had just read. I look forward to reading more from this author. Nov 29, Sandra Danby rated it liked it Shelves: fiction. But this is a complicated family with so many stories of betrayal, flight, lies, secrets and denials that until the end I was waiting for someone else to appear as a witness. The first half was a slow-burn and I longed to get to the first turning point of the story, which when it came was not a surprise.
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This slow-burn means this is not a psychological thriller but a study of the long-term effects on children violently bereaved, survivor guilt, misplaced memory and grief. For me, this was too many viewpoints and too many characters, making it rather involved and at times repetitive. I also found myself sympathising with Aunt Lucia who is portrayed as something of a harridan in a dysfunctional family, though she too has experienced difficult times which she has kept secret. An at times long-winded story which, at its heart, explores something deep, difficult and sensitive.
Dec 18, Maggie rated it it was amazing. They say "the devil is in the detail" and for anyone who grew up in the fifties and sixties this novel is full of those tiny details that hurtle you back in time: Spangles, Sindy dolls, those oh so painful Clackers and the novel Ballet Shoes, to mention just a few of my favourite childhood things.
Then there are the subtle clues planted throughout a narrative that twists and turns, building tension and suspense as it goes.
This is not a particularly pleasant cast of characters and empathy does n They say "the devil is in the detail" and for anyone who grew up in the fifties and sixties this novel is full of those tiny details that hurtle you back in time: Spangles, Sindy dolls, those oh so painful Clackers and the novel Ballet Shoes, to mention just a few of my favourite childhood things.
This is not a particularly pleasant cast of characters and empathy does not always come easily but for those of us who grew up in the era where secrets and lies ruined lives and scandals were swept under carpets,Tina's story rings true. Her struggle to overcome the horrors of her past is immense and I did find myself rooting for her. Louise Walters is such a clever writer. I enjoyed Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase and as a second novel, this does not disappoint.
It was wonderful. Dec 14, Sarah Vincent rated it it was amazing. A life Between Us A novel of redemption, this tender story shows how the foolish impulse of a moment can devastate a family for generations to come. Forty-something Tina is still mourning the twin she lost in childhood. Except she never really lost her, because Meg is still there, talking to her from beyond the grave. Haunted by guilt over a past event, the only thing making her life tolerable is A life Between Us A novel of redemption, this tender story shows how the foolish impulse of a moment can devastate a family for generations to come.
Haunted by guilt over a past event, the only thing making her life tolerable is her passion for reading. For me these letters to Elizabeth are the most enjoyable part of this novel.
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We see through the letters how her spirit, previously so bright and effervescent has been gradually crushed. Meanwhile the novel slips back and forth across the decades as past secrets are uncovered, layer by layer. The period detail is superb. This is not the kind of novel you want to rush.
Read slowly and savour. Aug 08, Isaias rated it really liked it. Even though, most of the "secrets" are shown to us in the early beginning, there's this curiosity and built-up tension that hooks you in and you can't stop reading. It helps also that the chapters are short, and I adored when books mov "Death was all around, as dark and unavoidable as the night trying to push through the windows, trying to swallow her up in blackness.
It helps also that the chapters are short, and I adored when books move back and forth in time. Our main character is Tina, a year-old woman who can't move on after her twin sister died when she was 8. She thinks she is guilty, she still sees her sister's "spirit" next to her all the time, but one day all those beliefs start to change.
What I liked so much about Walter's style is that she managed to present us each character in such a realistic way, we see their good values, their empathy, but also their flaws, their mistakes. She shows us how every person can make mistakes but that the choice of becoming a "good" or "bad" person is completely ours to make, and she did it quite elegantly. I didn't like the ending completely, I liked an aspect of it, but most of it felt too "happily-ever-after", and I just couldn't buy it.
However, this is an addictive story about family, secrets and healing. If you have any interest on this book, I'd say you give it a go. Jun 25, Leah Moyse rated it it was amazing. A Life Between Us is an utterly intriguing and compelling story. It is set across varying decades including the present day and it tells the story of one family. The characters were haunting, emotive and nuanced. An exploration of family secrets, betrayals and mysteries, makes this book taut and suspenseful.
I particularly enjoyed discovering how the characters past actions can cause lasting effects in the future both for themselves and others. Tina is still grieving the loss of her twin, who die A Life Between Us is an utterly intriguing and compelling story. Tina is still grieving the loss of her twin, who died when they were children, she has never quite got over it.
It effects her daily life and relationship with her husband. Tina's Aunt Lucia is not a likeable character and is very unhappy in life, nothing pleases her and everybody feels her wrath and bitterness. Tina is particularly close to her Uncle Edward, but he seems to have something to hide. Particularly poignant parts of the book include Tina's childhood letters that she writes to her cousin in America. This only added more detail to a character that was to become deeply involved with the loss of her sister.
This book is something of a family saga with an element of mystery involved. The pace of the book is not fast but it was exciting to read, waiting patiently for the characters and their pasts to unravel for the reader. I found this book to be absorbing and wonderfully written, the different threads of the story never becoming confused but carefully being sewn together at the end to create a satisfying ending.
I really recommend this one, a story of grief and loss, family ties, mysteries and secrets. Jan 01, Laura Laakso rated it it was amazing. A Life Between Us is, at its core, about secrets and the destructiveness of them. A single, thoughtless act resonates through a family for several generations and casts its shadow over people far removed from the initial event. The story is told by different narrators and covers many decades.
What impressed me from the very beginning was the subtle way in which information about the family and the individuals were introduced. Facts that seemed irrelevant at first became relevant later on in the A Life Between Us is, at its core, about secrets and the destructiveness of them. Facts that seemed irrelevant at first became relevant later on in the story. It is a mark of a good, confident author that the reader is allowed to piece the puzzle and to build the picture for themselves. One of the narrative strands is a series of letters written by young Tina Thornton to her American cousin.
The reader has only one half of the correspondence and I was left wondering what might Elizabeth's responses been like. Through the authentic voice of a child, amidst descriptions of books and sweets, we find out more about the whole family. A Life Between Us is very different from the books I usually read, but I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend it to everyone. I will certainly go back to it at some point, to see how different the story looks now that I already know the characters. A Life Between Us also made me want to look up Louise's other books; another mark of a great writer.
Apr 27, Susan rated it really liked it.
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This is primarily the story of Tina and the effect on her life of her 8 year old twin sisters death 40 years earlier. Tina believes she was responsible for her sisters death and the guilt haunts her adult life affecting her relationships and her sanity. Interwoven with Tina's story is the wider family drama surrounding Tina's Aunts and Uncles Especially her Aunt Lucia and her relationship with her brother Edward.
The story is written on several levels travelling back and forth through the time p This is primarily the story of Tina and the effect on her life of her 8 year old twin sisters death 40 years earlier.
The story is written on several levels travelling back and forth through the time periods of Tina's childhood as well as before her birth and the present day and also includes letters written by the 8 year old Tina to a Pen friend around the time of her sisters death. I have to say this is not the sort of story I would usually read and if I am honest I did not really like the characters and at times I was irritated by the actions of some of them.
It certainly wasn't a cheery read and I felt the ending was a little to 'tidy'. Criticism aside I must admit that I was really compelled to read this book - something about the way it was crafted really gripped me so though I didn't engage with the characters it kept me reading to the end. This poignant story revives memories of childhood times. Not of the pain and loss experienced by the main character but the supporting details of toys, routines, play times, tree-climbing, etc. While travelling Tina's life path before and since the death of her twin sister, Meg, one loses oneself in that wonderful childhood detail.
This is a story of family, loss, childhood fears and relationships. The clever telling through letters to a faraway cousin draws the reader into Tina's mind. Her adult This poignant story revives memories of childhood times. Her adult life is persecuted by memories of her sister's death and the reasons why. Louise Walters weaves an intricate story around her characters and Tina's adult visits to the deceased Meg are disturbing and enlightening, all the while overshadowed by the woman in the green coat.
Loved this book. Well done, Louise! Oct 08, Elisabeth rated it it was amazing. When Tina was 8 years old Meg, her twin sister died. Tina has spent the last 30 years blaming herself and being haunted every day about her sisters death. It has dominated her thoughts everyday and has played a crucial part in the woman that she is today.
The story spans 3 generations of the same family and shows how what happens in one generation can send shockwaves through a family for decades come. A moving story dealing with mental health issues, grief and complex family dynamics. I picked thi When Tina was 8 years old Meg, her twin sister died. I picked this book by chance after just reading the blurb on the back and I am very glad that a did.
This book is perfect for fans Jodi Picoult and Katherine Webb this was a truly amazing read. By cooking for others, Mayada keeps her family traditions intact; by sharing her recipes and stories, she communicates the centrality of food in Syrian culture. The Bread and Salt Between Us is both a delicious introduction to Syrian food and a moving portrait of resilience. It belongs in every library and kitchen.
Mayada is the kind of cook who inspires trust. She reflects the hospitable, generous soul of the Middle East, showing us that everything we make tastes better when shared with those we welcome to our tables. The inspiring journey of her family in this book is a story of strength, love, and hope—it is stirred beautifully into every recipe, and we are grateful for every taste. The delicious Syrian food will have you rushing to the store to get cooking right away! Her story reminds us how family, food, and culture can bring us together.
Some communities and foods are inaccessible to us because we may not share a common language— The Bread and Salt Between Us bridges this gap effortlessly. The book does not shy away from teaching us some of the more elaborate recipes found in Syrian cuisine and, in doing so, gives us all a very meaningful seat at the table—a colorful, soulful, and inspiring table. The Bread and Salt Between Us is a reminder, as Jennifer Sit writes, that everyday foods are a luxury that should not be taken for granted.
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