Thursday, 9 April 2015

Review: The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson

The unforgettable new novel from Lucy Robinson.
"Annie has a secret. But if she's not going to tell, we won't either. It's a heart-breaking secret she wishes she didn't have - yet Annie isn't broken, not quite yet. Especially now there's someone out there who seems determined to fix her.
Kate has run away. But she's not going to tell us why - that would defeat the point of running, wouldn't it? It's proving difficult to reinvent herself, however, with one person always on her mind.
Scratch beneath the surface and nobody is really who they seem. Even Annie and Kate, two old friends, aren't entirely sure who they are any more. Perhaps you can work it out, before their pasts catch up with them for good . . ."

Today is the day that the paperback version of The Day We Disappeared hits the shelves and you are in for an absolute treat. I had seen so many fantastic comments about this book flying around in blogs and on twitter that when it was released for E-book a fortnight ago I couldn't resist and purchased straight away. I can see what the fuss was about – this is an unpredictable read that I enjoyed from start to finish.

Being honest it’s quite difficult to review The Day We Disappeared without giving away the huge twist that leaves you gasping at the pages and reading as fast as you can to find out more. I was pleased I made the decision to start this book during a 3 hour train journey, as I couldn't put it down and finished it just as I pulled into my destination. This is definitely the kind of read you need to make time for as once you get a few chapters in, you won’t want to do anything else.

The story follows two friends- Annie and Kate who are both running away from their pasts and trying to start a new life. Annie is a masseuse struggling to earn a living in London when a handsome, wealthy business owner offers her a job proposition she can't refuse. Kate is starting a new life working at the stables of a well-known horse racer, trying to fumble her way through despite knowing next to nothing about horses. She is determined to leave her past behind her and have a fresh start.

 I love love loveeee Lucy's writing style – the story is fast-paced, witty and descriptive. I felt like I’d been transported to the very barn where Kate spends hours shovelling muck in her jodhpurs- I felt the cold, smelt the..... well, you get the idea, and sympathised at the grueling workload her and the team endure.

There are plenty of well-written, relatable characters in this book that all added a new depth to the engaging storyline. My firm favourites though were Tim -Annie’s life-long best friend and just the NICEST man in the world, with a big heart and caring nature, who would do absolutely anything for Annie. I also really liked Becca, a feisty Geordie who befriends and helps Kate through the tough process of adapting to life at a working stable.  
Lucy’s writing, for me, really stands out when she writes about Annie’s family dynamic. Annie’s family situation is far from perfect (I don’t want to outright say why as it spoils it, but once you find out why you’ll see what I mean). Despite this, the relationship she has with her Dad and sister Lizzie is really heart-warming and lovely and when they are together – such as at Christmas or visiting their Dad, the relationship jumps off the page. It made me think of my family and our relationship with each other, which I think is evidence of her fantastic writing ability- the relationships in this book are realistic and relatable which, to me, makes them jump off the page and stand out. 

I wasn't expecting it to, but this novel also explores the issue of mental health. Annie suffers from anxiety and is constantly worrying about small, little things that others wouldn't give a second thought about. Kate has 'bad shit' which follows her around and she wills to go away. Not only did this give another depth to the characters but, to me, it made them real. They weren't perfect fiction heroines in search of love, they were REAL women with real issues, who were trying to find themselves and make the most of their lives. The way Lucy tackles this throughout the story is great – there isn't the usual stigma attached to mental health that is so apparent in the news today but there is understanding, support from their friends and family and empathy- you really feel for them throughout the story, especially Annie, and you hope that she will overcome her fears and nerves to live the life she really wants to.

Friendship, love, taking chances and fighting those pesky demons or the 'bad shit' to make something of your life were the key elements to this story and I absolutely loved it. If you haven't got it already, GO GO GO! It is a must-read for 2015.  

You can buy the kindle or paperback release from Amazon and it truly is worth every penny. 
This is the first book I've read from Lucy Robinson, but after I finished this I swiftly purchased her back catalogue as I had to read more - she is amazingly talented and is now one of my firm favourite authors! 

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