After more than twenty years of marriage, Chloe Sinclair comes home one night to find that her husband, Nate, is gone. All he has left behind is a cryptic note explaining that he’s returned to their childhood town, a place Chloe never wants to see again.
While trying to reach Nate, Chloe stumbles upon a notebook tucked inside his antique copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Written in code, the pages contain long-buried secrets from their past, and clues to why he went home after all these years. As Chloe struggles to decipher the notebook’s hidden messages, she revisits the seminal moments of their youth: the day she met the enigmatic Sinclair children and the increasingly dangerous games they played to escape their troubled childhoods; the first time Nate kissed her, camped out on the beach like Robinson Crusoe; and the elaborate plan she and Nate devised, inspired by Romeo and Juliet, to break away from his oppressive father. As the reason for Nate’s absence comes to light, the truth will forever shatter everything Chloe knows—about her husband, his family, and herself.
Here’s another book that had been sat in my Netgalley TBR list for a long time and I’m glad I made the effort and finally read it as it’s a very intriguing and interesting novel.
The book is predominantly about the Sinclair family children Nate, Cecelia and Grace, their religiously controlling father; how our parents can influence us and shape our futures and also the friendship they make as children with Chloe that follows them through into their adulthood.
From the first few chapters I thought I was onto a winner as the book starts off in a book shop, each part is given the title of a book and throughout there are references to some great books.
After her husband just ups and leaves with no explanation and whilst her marriage seems to be hanging by a thread Chloe discovers a notebook of secret letters and starts decoding them using books that were important and had meaning to her husband – something they’d done as children, in the hope of finding out what’s going on with him now and what he’s been withholding from her.
This book has a dual time line and reflects back to the past to explain the present; how they all met as children, their relationships progressing into adulthood, the obesessive religious beliefs of the Sinclair’s father and more significantly what happened to Chloe’s child.
I enjoyed reading this book, and it only took me a week to read but for 80% of the book it felt like I’d been reading it forever although the pace in the last 20% really picked up when all the revelations start unravelling. I had my suspicions about what had really happened and did put 2 and 2 together before the end (but not much!).
It’s beautifully written with some exceptional references and with an ending that just brought tears to my eyes so I would recommend and would read other books from this author.
Connect with the author Elizabeth Joy Arnold