Life for Hadley has so far has been uneventful, with no great love affairs, no searing losses. But then she decides to spend a year studying in the glittering Swiss city of Lausanne, a place that feels alive with promise. It’s here that she has a passionate affair with a man who’s out of bounds, and meets Kristina, forming the strongest of friendships. Yet, one night, tragedy strikes unexpectedly, and what was supposed to be a carefree adventure becomes a darker journey of self-discovery.
A chance encounter gives Hadley the exciting opportunity to spend a year studying abroad with a twinned university and herein her adventure starts.
What first strikes you is the beautiful surroundings that she arrives in and the author does a brilliant job at conveying the setting. It does just leap off the page to you, so much so you can almost feel the coldness of it all!
Coupled with the incredible setting, Hadley begins to forms new relationships. The unlikeliest of friendships with Hugo, an elderly gent who not only offers her a shoulder to cry on but also helps her on the road to self-discovery. They probably both needed each other just as much as the other and after much coffee help each other to move on.
An intense relationship with a man who she should probably have steered clear of. Passionate and secretive, bound to end in tears but I just kept hoping that it didn’t.
And then the beautiful, enchanting wordly wise Kristina, a delight to be around who Hadley is just swept along by in the best possible ways. At times the book almost felt like it was set in a different time, Kristina’s dialogue has a vintage feel to it which may well have been her Danish into English and/or the Hemingway influences but I enjoyed reading about her.
We know from the blurb that a tradegy will strike, and it made me feel really emotional when I read that part and the chapters to follow that dealt with the characters grief and guilt!
I thought I knew where the story was going and in part it did, but this book does deliver some unexpected twists. I succumbed to the author’s clues and thought I had it nailed but I hadn’t, and this I loved; when the ending seems like it’ll be predictable but isn’t.
This is a delightful, sad but inspiring story that’ll make your heart feel heavy and light in the blink of an eye. With some beautiful descriptions of Lausanne and Switzerland, this book took me by surprise in that I enjoyed it so much. It’s been a perfect Winter read complete with mystery and twists quite unexpected!
Thanks to Headline for the copy via Bookbridgr.
Connect with the author Emylia Hall