After loving a debut, I almost nervously approach an author’s second novel – often holding my breath for the first few pages until I know it’s all going to be ok.
In the case of The Lost Wife, I knew within the first few paragraphs that I was going to enjoy it, which was good because I was full of cold and holding my breath didn’t seem like the best idea.
Anna Mansell has a way of taking two (or more) characters that seemingly have nothing in common and weaving their lives together – sometimes gently, sometimes hurling them towards each other – so you almost forget that they were ever apart.
It makes her stories virtually impossible to put down because you really need to know how it all works out in the end.
Here’s the blurb:
When Ellie Moran passes away, she leaves her newborn son and husband Ed behind her. Their marriage was perfect, their lives everything they had hoped for. So why was Ellie keeping secrets from Ed?
Knowing he can never ask his wife the truth, Ed is struggling to cope. When the secrets threaten to tear his whole family apart, Ed turns to Rachel, the one person who sees him as more than just Ellie’s widower.
But then Rachel discovers something Ellie was hiding, something that would break Ed’s heart. Can Rachel help Ed to find peace without the wife he lost – and a second chance at happiness?
The Lost Wife is a wonderful tale told in such a way that it keeps you guessing right to the end.
And the characters, oh, the characters. I desperately wanted to hug Ed whose grief felt almost tangible. My heart ached along with his when the love he and Ellie shared was called into question.
As for Rachel? She is also heartbreaking in her own way. I must also mention her best friend, Mo. Their relationship moved me to tears towards the end of the book (I won’t tell you why) but it was so, SO well written.
While this is a story about loss, on both sides, the overriding feeling I was left with is hope – and that’s no small feat when you consider the subject matter.
If you haven’t already read her first book, How To Mend A Broken Heart, you’ll want to after reading this one.
My rating: Five stars.