A prize-winning, cross-generational love story of missed connections and delayed gratification hits a seam of pure romantic gold.
Star-crossed is an understatement for the ill-fated love between trophy wife Jennifer Stirling and hard-drinking journalist Anthony O’Hare in British writer Moyes’ cleverly constructed, cliffhanger-strewn tale of heartache in two strikingly different eras. Jennifer and Anthony meet in the South of France in that strait-laced time just before the 1960s blew social conventions apart. Jennifer, married to a powerful businessman whose fortunes derive from asbestos, is a Grace Kelly look-alike, beautiful and seemingly blessed with a perfect life. But as the story opens with her attempts to reconstruct her existence after post–traffic-accident amnesia it becomes apparent that her marriage has a cold heart compared to recently experienced passion. Held back by convention and fear, she hesitates to grasp her first chance at happiness. Later, other and larger impediments stand between the two lovers whose commitment finds expression in letters which come to light again 40 years later in the library of a relocated newspaper. Journalist Ellie Haworth, involved with a married man, is moved by the words and starts to piece the story together, in the process coming to a different understanding of what love really means.
A nicely judged sense of period and the author’s full-blooded commitment lend heartfelt emotion to simple characters in a tour de force of its kind.