English Priest, Jemima Stokes-Kydd, (Jemma) had pushed thoughts of her traumatic final senior school year aside when she was living back in England. But she’s living in New York now and can no longer ignore her high school reunion. The invitation is burning an impression on her mind. All the emotional turmoil and angst she experienced during that last year comes rushing back to her. At that time, Jemma thought she knew where her life was headed and with whom. Jemma simply has to know what happened to Shelby. She needs to know the truth of what happened to take away the happiness she was sure was theirs for the taking.
Shelby Parker-Bates has every material thing she could want. Lavish houses, cars, a nice life style, but she’s unable to escape from the past and thoughts of what might have been. Stuck in a marriage she’s never wanted, living a lie, what can she do to help herself? Maybe attending the reunion will help her free herself from the past so she can live her life as she should.
Meeting old classmates, sharing memories and reminiscing is usually just a good old blast from the past. But for Jemma and Shelby, the reunion changes their lives forever.
This is a wonderful well written blockbuster of a story. A book that is long and one to really get stuck into. The two main characters, Jemma and Shelby are both multi-faceted and their interactions together showed me they were simply made for each other. Soul mates. But how they can get to be together is the journey we follow in this story. If indeed they do eventually get together.
The story is written both in the past and the present. Very easy to follow. Susan Meagher has obviously done an enormous amount of research into the early days of the AIDS virus and it’s affect on the gay population.
The story is full of depression, angst, emotional turmoil, heartbreak, heartache, fear and betrayal. But, it is also written about hope, forgiveness, healing and romance. Although basically this book is a romance, it is far more than a simple girl meets girl, girl loses girl and girl gets girl again story. Susan has taken us deep into the depths of the despair of Shelby’s depression. She has also shown us how Shelby managed to overcome the dark feelings and get herself back to being Shelby again. It’s an interesting journey of ups and downs and twists and turns. On the other hand, we also get to see how Jemma reacts and copes after being badly betrayed by the one she loved. The story spans decades and allows the reader to understand exactly how easy it is to be afraid of coming out and how much of a stigma being a lesbian is for some of us.
This is a book I will be re-reading. A book I know I will get more out of on a second read without the ‘not knowing how it ends’.