Helen is living with her dad in the countryside one summer when a new family moved in down the road. Twins Pippa and Will, their older sister Victoria and older brother Seth. Helen is intrigued by the new family and soon Helen and Victoria are almost inseparable. Victoria’s family move every six months or so, living wherever is available and going wherever life takes them. They are bohemian and carefree; a very different way of life compared to Helen’s upbringing.
The descriptions of their time together evoked vivid memories of teenage summers. I loved Victoria, the bohemian girl who is showing Helen a different way of living. Sarah captures Helen’s teenage awkwardness well; the desire to be liked, breaking the rules and teenage romance. The twins are energetic and curious, with Seth the older brother being the more sensible sibling. That magic summer is suddenly over when something happens which makes both Victoria’s family, and Helens dad disappear from her life.
Thirty years later Helen and Victoria end up in the same city where the secrets start to unravel. One minute everything is hazy and the next it all starts dawning on you until you understand completely. I felt it was a little unnecessary for it to remain hidden for as long as it did. I was annoyed at Helen for not even trying to understand what happened, but I appreciated the final conclusion to the story. It’s an emotional story of magical summers tainted by an unspeakable tragedy.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.