Eva, Benedict, Sylvie and Lucien graduate in 1998, into a world on the brink of the new millennium. Hopelessly in love with playboy Lucien and keen to shrug off the socialist politics of her childhood, Eva breaks away to work at a big bank. Benedict, a budding scientist who's pined for Eva for years, stays on to do a physics PhD, and siblings Sylvie and Lucien pursue more freewheeling existences--she as an aspiring artist and he as a club promoter and professional partier. But as their dizzying twenties become their thirties, the once close-knit friends, now scattered and struggling to navigate thwarted dreams, lost jobs and broken hearts, find themselves drawn together once again in stunning and unexpected ways. Breathtaking in scope, this is sure to be the book of the summer.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alice Adams is half Australian but has lived in England for most of her life. She grew up in a house without a TV and as a result became a voracious reader. Career-wise, she's done everything from waitressing to working in investment banking, and in addition to a BA in philosophy and an MA has a multitude of maths, finance and computer programming qualifications. She lives in North London but escapes into the wilderness as often as possible.
I always find it refreshing to stumble across a book out of the blue and not expect much from it, and then you find yourself swept along in an intoxicating look at the world through the eyes of 4 friends from the beginning of their friendship in Bristol, 1995 right the way through to a beach in Dorset in 2015! This was such a book and I'm very glad it found me!!
The 4 friends are Eva, Lucien, Sylvie and Benedict - all very different personalities (Lucien and Sylvie are siblings) but drawn together through University where they set out with different dreams and ambitions and this book cleverly documents the stages they all go through over the next 20 years.
The book gives you brief snapshots in the most memorable times of their lives - the highs and the lows of which there are plenty - and how the group of friends are very much part of each others' lives even if the years have taken them to different places and further away from each other. It is full of the angst of growing up and how they all see themselves progressing in life, to the reality of life and things not turning out quite how you expect. The ones you expect to succeed don't always reach their potential, and it's how they deal with it through the years that keeps you turning the pages to see what journey their lives will take them on next.
Each character gets plenty of time for the reader to embrace, and setting it against real life events really helps you set the scene and capture the moment during their lives. I really felt invested in their lives and how they got to reassess what is important to them depending on what was thrown at them throughout.
There is sadness, laughter, flirting, fallings out, marriages, divorce, dealings with the law, depression, success, despair, new arrivals and old secrets and how 4 people find their place in the world and I just found it to be a fabulous read that I devoured in one sitting!! Highly recommended!!
Thank you to Alice May Dewing at Picador for my copy of the book in return for a fair and honest review!