Summary- Anne Jewell is happy with the life she has made. She is a teacher at a girls school and she is raising her illegitimate son just fine on her own.
While school is on summer holiday she and her son are invited to spend the summer at an estate in Wales. Anne is hesitant to go but wants her son to be around other children.
Shortly after her arrival she comes upon the estate manager on the beach and she is horrified by his appearance and runs from him. The estate manager is Sydnam Butler and he is horribly disfigured from war wounds. Anne feels terrible for her actions and begins a conversation when next they meet. Love ensues.
My rating- A -This book was amazing. I mean really amazing. I did not want to put it down. I usually listen to books at work and I seriously considered asking my manager if I could stay over at work so I could finish this book. It was that great.
As a reader, I loved the characters. Anne is a good person who views herself damaged because she has an illegitimate son. She also is terrified of intimacy because her son is the product of a rape.
Sydnam is an artist who has lost it all and is trying to make a new life even though he lost his painting arm along with one of his eyes. He is a lovable man. I would marry the guy!
The trials given to the characters were realistic and serious. How can Anne love a man when she is terrified of having sex. How can Sydnam love a woman when his body is horribly scarred and disfigured. How will Anne’s son feel about his potential step father being monstrous to look at. How will Sydnam get back his dream of being an artist when he has only a left hand left and he was right handed.
From beginning to end I truly enjoyed reading this book. And I am going to see what other books I can find by the author.
As a writer, this book particularly interested me because the subject matter was similar to a novel I am doing a final (almost final anyways) edit on. In my novel, there is a man with an amputated leg. The woman he was engaged to left him after his leg was lost and he believes he will forever be alone. Then, a pregnant widow needs a husband and he is asked to step up to the plate. He struggles through the novel with fear of how she will see him and his disfigurement.
This was a great book to read as I am touching up my novel.
This book also touched me on a personal level. I am fat. I have always been fat. When people, especially men, see me they see a fat girl. I don’t want to be judged by my looks. I want to be known. I want to be loved for the person I am.
I am also afraid that my daughter will be judged for her looks. She has a lazy eye. I worry that people, particularly boys, will treat her poorly because of it.
This book really reminded me that people who are worth knowing will be able to see past looks and try to know a person before they judge them.
This book is a must read for lovers of romance.