First published: 2014
I thought I wouldn’t like this novel.
The beginning was light and made me think that this was a simple love story. Yet, it is more than that. We are introduced to Lucy, who recently lost her fiancée, and works as a graphic designer, designing book covers. Then he meets Greg Millar, who from the start doesn’t hide the fact that he likes her. Greg is a best-selling author, who also lost his wife five years ago in childbirth. Greg has two young children, ten-year-old Rachel and five-year-old Toby.
Soon Greg and Lucy fall in love, and Greg proposes to her. Lucy turns him down at first,but then she feels she wants to be with him and accepts. The problem starts with his children. From the first moment it is clear that it will be hard work for Lucy to be accepted by Greg’s children. Greg invites her to spend the summer with them in France. Things aren’t easy. Toby is more welcoming, but Rachel is bluntly hostile. Hillary, their nanny, also pose problems and she meddles between Greg, the children, and Lucy. Apparently, something happened between her and Greg, and Lucy guesses that even thought it didn’t mean much for Greg, Hillary seems to have feelings for him.
Things get from bad to worse when Greg starts acting up. He is always active non-stop, stays up all night, and becomes neglectful; he even leaves for days without any notice. Lucy thinks that he is on drugs, but Greg denies it. Things come to a head when they go out alone one night, and he humiliates before a group of strangers. She thinks she has had enough, so she plans to leave, but the following day she sees Hillary at the airport, intending to leave. Worried for the children, Lucy calls to find out they are alone, so she leaves her plans and rushes to the villa. The children are angry because before leaving, Hillary told them that it was Lucy who got her fired.
When Greg returns days later, Lucy is ready to break up with him, but he begs her to give him another opportunity. Lucy relents, and for a while Greg seems his old self. Then things get worse again when he seems to be down in the dumps. He drinks too much, spends almost the whole day in bed, and he is constantly in a low mood. Grace, Lucy’s sister, who is there, spending some time with Lucy, thinks that the problem with Greg is that he is bipolar, and he should see a doctor. Lucy tries to talk to him without much luck, and it is only when she threatens to leave him, he finally agrees to fly to Dublin and see a doctor.
I am enjoying the novel more than I thought I would. I love how the characters are being portrayed, and the topic is quite fascinating. I wonder how Greg and Lucy will manage to keep their love alive, and I really hope that he gets the medical treatment he needs, so that he gets better.