‘…Emma Woolf’s debut novel is a love story with a difference. Starting with a bang – an ingenious twist of the Hollywood cliche of a half-dressed male exiting a torrid sex scene, here the heroine Lily is the departing lover. Woolf handles multiple characters with insouciance. How can we not like Lily – intelligent, beautiful, slim with her J Brand jeans, casual cashmere and Hunter’s wellies. Traces of Virginia Woolf in Emma’s evocative scenes. I simply could not put it down.’
‘Absolutely loved this book, such an easy read, fantastic characters and story written around an area of London I know so well…’
‘Parts of this book will break your heart. Parts of it will make you smile. And parts will fill you with hope.
Emma Woolf uses three perspectives to tell the story: Lily, a young woman in her late twenties who begins an affair with her married boss; Harry, the married boss, who has always been faithful but who finds himself powerfully drawn to Lily on emotional, spiritual, and sexual levels; and Pippa, Harry’s wife, who suspects her husband’s infidelity. The driving narrative belongs to Lily, however, and she proves to be a worthy choice.
Several characters in this book struggle with depression and each respond in different ways. Harry, undoubtedly, proves to be the bleakest. He battles not just depression but also near debilitating back pain, and the combination of the two brings him to his knees. Lily brings brightness and vitality to his life. as do his sons. His marriage had become complacent and colorless before Lily, so her emergency shows him what he could have. Yet never once does Emma Woolf want you to believe that another person is responsible for the state of your psyche. You alone can heal yourself.’