Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and Angela Marsons for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Kit and Frances meet at an AA meeting and strike up an unlikely friendship. Bonded by their struggle with alcohol that only they can understand. This is a story of strength and the power of friendship.
The thing I loved the most about this book is the friendship that grows between Kit and Frances. They have a completely different lifestyle as Kit has been gripped by poverty and Frances has had everything she has ever wanted except the love she needed. I’ve not read many books where an unlikely friendship is a central theme throughout the book so it was wonderful to explore how a friend can shape your life. I took from this book that it is possible to be friends with someone even if you think you have nothing in common and so you should give people a chance. I love books that influence how you live, so Angela Marsons ticked all the boxes for me in that respect.
This book was essentially two stories in one, so it is great value. I would have been happy to have read either Kit or Frances’s story alone as they were gripping and harrowing. I couldn’t stop reading. I took something from each of their stories. Kit’s journey showed the extraordinary strength that we can possess if we are determined enough. Just one of the horrible things that happen to Kit would be enough to damage a person irreparably. The fact that she makes it out of the other side and keeps her humour and spirit is very inspirational. We get a glimpse of the darker places in society. I’ve never really thought about what life must be like on the streets, so to see the way it sucks you in and the amount of fight it takes to break free really shocked me. The type of life that some people have to live was enthralling to read about. Kit was a fantastic character and her sense of humour was brilliant and made her shine off the page for me. Some people can let themselves be defined by what has happened to them but after reading this, I only remember her larger than life personality rather than the trauma’s she has suffered.
The first thing we learn about Frances is that she drives a fancy car, and she’s a lawyer. On the outside, she looks like she has it all with her designer clothes but as we get to know her, we realise that she does not have it all. Frances is a brilliant character as with her; we explore the effect our family has on us. Her need for love and her mother’s approval has driven her entire life. We watch as she struggles to create a life that she wants instead of what her mother wants is gripping. Frances has been living under a blanket of alcohol, and as she comes out of it, shocking revelations send her reeling. She shows the same astounding strength as Kit does, as she doesn’t let the secrets that have been hidden from her, define her. She takes back control of her life, and it is fantastic to see these women rise from the depths of despair.
This is a compelling novel that explores a variety of aspects of human society. The story of Frances and Kit stays with you as it is so realistic and it feels like you are getting a snapshot into real people’s lives. Looking forward to reading more by Angela Marsons.