What if loving someone means keeping a secret that will break your heart?
In late 1983, a letter arrives from Italy, containing secrets so unthinkable that it is hidden away, apparently forever. More than three decades later, it is found . . . by the last person who was ever supposed to see it.
When Allie opens an envelope in her grandmother’s house, it changes everything she knows about her family – and herself.
With the truth liable to hurt those she loves most, she hires a private detective to find out what happened to her late mother in the summer before Allie was born. Taking leave from her job as a research scientist, she is led to the sun-drenched shores of Lake Garda, accompanied by her best friend Ed. But the secrets that emerge go far beyond anything they were expecting. Now, Allie must find the courage to confront her family’s tangled past and reshape her own future.
Messy, Wonderful Us is the best kind of contemporary romantic fiction – it manages to be sweet without being cloying, romantic without being cheesy, and although you can predict some of what’s going to happen, it still serves up plenty of surprises.
I love the characters in this novel – Allie and Ed are just brilliant, and feel convincing to read about too. It addresses various topics and issues, one of which I won’t say here because it will give away part of the plot, but it’s an issue that isn’t often addressed in books I’ve read about when it’s this way round.
The plot is brilliant; it has various elements – the main one being Allie’s quest to find out who her father is, and what happened all those years ago between her parents. Alongside this is her friendship with Ed, and his relationship with his wife Julia; it all combines to make a really entrancing, interesting read with – warning! – some really sad parts (I was really crying at times) and some more humorous parts too. There’s plenty of gorgeous-sounding travel to Italy (always makes me immediately want to book a trip there) and mysterious parts that have you wondering what really happened years ago…
I’d highly recommend this book, especially to people – like me – who feel that this genre is often too cheesy and overdramatic – this one absolutely isn’t. It’s a wonderful read!
Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing a copy of this novel, on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.