From the bestselling author of Thursdays in the Park comes a deeply moving novel which asks if you can fall in love with the same person twice….
Stella’s marriage ended decades ago, after a tragedy that not only shattered her life with her husband but shaped her whole relationship with her daughter, too.
Now, despite the tensions that linger between Stella and Eve, Stella is called upon to look after her daughter in her time of need. She just hadn’t bargained on being brought back into her handsome, stubborn ex-husband’s life too, or that she would find common ground with Jack in their shared adoration for their little grandson.
Just as the pain of the past once tore them apart, now the joys of grandparenthood are bringing Stella and Jack back together. But each of them has a new partner and new lives.
Should they fight temptation? Should the past remain the past? Or are some loves simply meant to be?
This is the kind of book that you’ll think about long after you close the final page. I loved Thursdays in the Park and was really looking forward to seeing what Hilary Boyd did next – and let me tell you, I wasn’t disappointed. I read this almost in one sitting over the last few rainy September days and it was the perfect companion for a pyjama day where I could totally lose myself in a great story with characters I could really believe in. Like all the best stories, I feel like Hilary Boyd drops us into a world where we could imagine the characters as people that we actually know, in situations we could really relate to and this is definitely why I found it so engrossing to read.
This book makes you think hard about your life choices as you see characters having to live with the ramifications of their earlier decisions many decades later. I loved the fact that we see them both young and old and it made me think about the fact that we are changed both by our choices and our chances in life. The fact that Jack and Stella are no spring chickens added a unique twist to this books as we are far too used to seeing books about relationships focus on the first bloom of love in novels that we read. Stella and Jack’s relationship proves the old adage that the course of true love never did run smooth and even when you really love someone staying with them might not always be the best choice you could make. It’s only now that their daughter Eve is pregnant, that Jack and Stella see each other again and realise that they might have taken a different pathway.
This book shows that love is indeed without age and that you are never too old to yearn for a happy ending. It does not shy away from the idea that actual relationships are hard work and in that, it certainly portrays a more realistic idea of love than the one we see in many contemporary presentations of romance and relationships in fiction – which was an aspect of this novel that I really enjoyed. Even though this is Stella’s tale to tell, I loved the fact that we travel back in time to an earlier incarnation of Jack and Stella and we get a real sense of the way that their relationship has unfolded due to the way that the novel leads us through their time together towards the present day situation, making us think hard about how this happened and other ways that their love story might have unfolded.
Even though Jack and Stella had other relationships in the present day, the way that this narrative unfolded really made you see their life-long story and feel so invested in it. I don’t give spoilers, so all I’m going to say is that this is an emotional read and lots of people might actually find themselves in tears at some points due to the sensitive and realistic way that Hilary Boys gives us an insight into her characters hopes, fears and barriers in this compelling novel.
I loved The Anniversary, and I’m recommending it to lots of people as I think that there is something in it that will appeal to people at many different stages of their own relationships. The way that Jack and Stella’s loves are laid bare in front of us will have you thinking more deeply about your own families and wondering about the way that our decisions can have the most unexpected repercussions years and years down the line. You’ll absolutely love the story of Stella and Jack and I dare you to read it without wanting to give someone you love a hug and tell them that you really do care. I can’t wait to see what Hilary Boyd does next as these first two books have both charmed me in their own very unique and original ways of looking at the way people live and love and asking us to think about our responses to their stories. Check it out for yourself by clicking the link below…
Thanks so much to Jenny Platt for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. The Anniversary was published on the 20th September.
You can buy yourself a copy here: The Anniversary
Writer On The Shelf
Hilary Boyd was a nurse, marriage counsellor and ran a small cancer charity before becoming an author. She has written eight books, including Thursdays in the Park, her debut novel which sold over half a million copies and was an international bestseller. The film rights have been acquired by Charles Dance, who will be directing and starring.