About the book
The main characters, Elly and Joe, are brother and sister and this book tells the story of their childhood, their secrets and their difficulties adjusting to an adult world.
What I think
I think this book is remarkable. It is an extremely subtle, yet powerful, portrayal of the childhood of Elly, Joe and Elly's best friend, Jenny Penny.
The book is in two parts: 1968 (set in Essex and Cornwall) and 2001 (set mainly in New York). Both sections of the book are set very distinctly in these periods and have a different feel about them. The era is portrayed well and the events of the era are fed through to transport you back in time.
The emotional side of the story is dealt with in such a delicate and moving way. Elly and Joe have shared a childhood, but by no means a typical childhood. This has made them form an extremely strong bond and they are supportive of each other's choices as both children and adults. When that is rocked by events in part 2, Elly is devastated and I felt personally moved by this.
About the Author
Sarah Winman (b. 1964) is a British actress and author. She attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and has acted in theatre, film and television. Her debut novel, When God was a Rabbit, won several awards including Galaxy (yes, the chocolate!) New Writer of the Year.