When Ellie Kendall's husband Jamie is suddenly killed in a
car accident, she has to figure out how to move on without
him. While the death of a husband is always difficult, she
never thought she'd lose her husband before they reached
their 30s. Her life changes in the span of a few days --
her friends and co-workers have difficulty conversing with
her without a look of pity on their face;
everywhere she turns, there are memories of Jamie. She
can't stop having imaginary conversations with him, complete
with him answering back.
Jamie's father Tony encourages her to move to Primrose Hill.
Although it means leaving behind the flat that she and
Jamie shared, it also means a nicer neighborhood and people
who don't know her sad history. Soon, she's making new
friends and changes job (catalyzed by her former boss making
a pass at her).
Her neighbor Roo quickly becomes one of her best friends.
Tony (a famous and successful actor) drops in occasionally
from Los Angeles to visit. Todd is Jamie's best and oldest
friend. Together they help Ellie settle in to her new life.
Still, Ellie continues to talk to Jamie and can't seem to
completely move on. In the meantime, her new boss Zack has
developed a crush on her, but every time he prepares to
act on it, something interferes. Ellie also feels attracted
to Zack but hesitates to tell him how she feels, knowing
that part of the reason she was hired was that she made it
clear she wouldn't feel romantically inclined toward him.
Ellie's character is balanced perfectly; she is neither
someone who pities herself nor some who starts charging
into the next chapter of her life so quickly as to be
unbelievable. The reader can't help but root for Ellie as
she tries to navigate her new life.
After the initial heartbreak at the beginning of the story
(which was exquisitely told), the book was witty and
engaging. Ellie's story is woven in with Tony's story, as
he attempts to woo a local artist. Each of these stories is
touching and provides several "tug-at-your-heart" moments.
The subplot with Roo, her attempts at romance and how these
evolve her life, was also compelling. The book was
irresistible making it difficult to put down once I
Jill Mansell is one of the biggest authors of women's
fiction in the UK with a growing audience in the U.S. Her
appeal lies in her poignant, funny, romantic love stories
with secondary characters from different generations that
draw a huge female audience from 16 to 60, and the kind of
plot twists and complications that make every book a
Newly widowed Ellie moves to London's glamorous Primrose
Hill to start over, and life is looking up. But her new
boss, Zack McLaren, is terribly distracting as he does
everything he can to win her attention and her affection.