Thursday, November 10, 2011

If Only You Knew By Claire Allan Reviewed by Lisa Redmond

Claire Allan’s fifth novel proves she has both the storytelling gifts of Cathy Kelly and the wit and warm humour of Marian Keyes. If Only You Knew is the story of cousins Ava Campbell; the sensible married teacher  and Hope Scott; the flighty single journalist  who are thrown together when, at the reading of their aunt’s will they discover her request that they visit her house in the South of France to pack up her belongings. The girls are bemused at first but they decide to go, for the chance of a holiday if nothing else. Through a series of letters left in various parts of the house in France Aunt Betty’s story is revealed and her reasons for asking her nieces to visit the house and raise a glass to her and to each other become clear. Through the discoveries they make both women learn to move their lives forward and to reconcile the past especially when they discover some of the shocking truths about Aunt Betty’s life and the reason why she ran away to France. Claire Allan’s story is a hilarious and life affirming tale of families, secrets and love which you won’t be able to put down. 

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