A pleasant tale of family and one woman’s quest to live a fulfilled life.
Billie May Worthington is juggling twin toddlers on a remote island. The novel is largely concerned with how she got there. Quickly, the story jumps back in time, with Billie, the Midwest-born girl living in the U.K., about to embark on an exciting literary career following graduation. She’s Type A, a planner who doesn’t like to leave things to chance, but all that’s about to change when sexy artist-cum-architect Evan Skylark enters her life. Evan’s charm and prowess win over Billie quickly. Before she knows what hit her, she’s agreeing to move with Evan to Paris, where a dream job waits for him with Architecture Sans Limites. Life in Paris is romantic for the pair, and the circumstances they find themselves in drip with bohemian charm. While Evan puts in long hours at the office, Billie devotes herself to the written world. She’s a writer, though she feels funny calling herself that until she’s got a published book. Nevertheless, she presses on. Things seem idyllic in Paris, but before long, the fairy tale comes to a crashing halt. Billie May and Evan are forced to return to the U.K., where they spend some time tending the land and animals at a remote farm owned by Billie’s stepfather. A fortuitous job offer takes the Skylarks from one hard-to-reach island to another. The twins aren’t far behind. Motherhood, career, and literary ambitions take on a whole new character on the South Pacific island of St. Cloud. Morgan’s quaint tale offers much in the way of escapism, with hints of a darker side, particularly with Evan’s drinking. Settings are richly described, and the colorful characters offer old-world charm and rambunctious energy. Though events can sometimes take a harrowing turn, the stakes never feel particularly grave. The reader feels that, for Billie, one way or another, things will always work out for the best.
A sometimes-dark but always buoyant novel of life beyond motherhood and family.