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Book Review: With All My Love

With All My Love is the story of three women from three generations, bound together by the loveable yet complex Jeff.

When Valerie nears retirement, she decides to move to a small town in southern Spain. Leaving behind a life of struggle, lies and tragedy, she is keen to find the harmony her life has been missing. Her daughter Briony and grandaughter Katie come to stay to help her settle in, and she thinks that finally she can leave the past to rest.

But as Briony is helping unpack, she discovers an old photo album. Studying the faded photographs, a letter slips to the ground. Startled, she realizes that it is addressed to her.

My Darling Briony, it begins and, in shock, Briony realizes that her mother has lied to her about her paternal grandmother Tessa, the woman she loved so dearly as a child.

Unable to overcome festering hatred, Valerie had moved away from Tessa and cut all contact, severing the important relationship between grandmother and granddaughter.

It was a strong bond, and one that Valerie now enjoys with her own granddaughter Katie.

Unwilling to listen to her mother’s reasons, Briony rages that Valerie will be punished just as she was. But, like every situation, there are two sides to the story, and the novel delves into the past, exploring the events that led to this moment.

This is a story of women, relationships and the complex situations that arise from being a daughter, a mother and a partner.

It demonstrates how no two people experience an event the same way and just how easy it is to misinterpret one another.

Patricia Scanlan has a number of best selling novels, and All My Love will not disappoint. It is a heart-warming, multi-generational saga that is the perfect weekend read.

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