Published: Headline/Hachette NZ
Date: 27th January 2016
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Thanks to Hachette NZ
On the morning of Lily's twenty-fifth birthday, it's time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight.
Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum's life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie's attentions.
Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily's friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again...
You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell is only the second novel I have read by her. I know for sure it won't be my last. How does she do it, make you chuckle out loud one moment and swallow with emotion the next. I don't know, but she has talent and does!
Do you ever come out of the movie theatre, a little teary eyed but satisfied that you've seen a good movie and sort of blink at the daylight. That's how I was as I finally put down this book after finishing it. What a delightfully quaint village and quirky characters who fill this book. A place where people unabashedly listen in to others conversations and even occasionally offer their opinions.
So who are these characters who just slip into your heart? Well obviously there is Lily - a down to earth, honest, charming and hard working woman. She lost her mother at eight and has been brought up by Coral and Nick, good friends of her mother. She is the the centre and all the others circle around her.
Patsy, ten years older and earlier on Lily's babysitter. Now they are good friends. Patsy has not been lucky in love and seems to have an ongoing situation of hapless meetings with potential internet dates. Then Tom, her brother. All time - long time friend of Lily. In the early times he showed his liking for her by teasing, as boys do. But guess what there are deeper feelings there.
But wait, arriving on the scene is Eddie, a movie star who just happens to get caught up with Lily in a surprising meeting. He is rather nice and well... Lily and he might just turn into an item.
In the last letter to Lily her mother gives her a gift that was given to her by a man she loved but lost. This leads Lily into searching him out, and then that leads Declan to becoming involved in her life and the village. Then surprise, surprise - the father Lily has never known arrives on the scene. And the plot thickens!
Characters you will fall in love with, a village you'll want to visit, definitely an entertaining and heartwarming read.