May 1991 finds Grace in Australia.
Her plan to do an MA did not materialise, so she asked her parents to let her have a gap year. So she has travelled with a new friend, and in Australia while she works as waitress/assistant on a boat, she meets Gabriel, a best-selling writer. They click instantly, and we see them becoming intimate. I like seeing Grace coming out of her shell and becoming more confident. On the island even though her parents were the owners, the friends she invited seemed to be taken advantage of her. I imagine that Grace needed to feel like an independent person without having to depend on her parents or her brother. Actually, while travelling in her gap year, she has never talked about her family or how much money they have. Now I wonder if Gabriel will become important in her life or will be just a fling. I like Gabriel, but I think it is a shame that because of the circumstances there was never anything between Grace and Alex.
In Oxford Miles isn’t having a great time. His tutors complain that he is a slob and doesn’t bother to attend lectures. He also realizes that his father’s money won’t give him what he wishes, and in an old institution like the University of Oxford, prestige and heritage are more important than new money. It doesn’t help much that his attitude towards some of his mates in Eton left much to be desired. So the selective club that he longs to be a member of won’t have him, so he comes up with the idea of forming his own club. Miles is quite arrogant and I can’t say I like him. He thinks he deserves the world because that is the way he has been raise, and I find that attitude irritating.
As for Alex he is part of the band even though he often clashes with the lead singer, Jez. he is in a relationship with Emma, a girl who lived in the same building as his fellow band members. After six months in the band they have a gig in Bath, but it turns out to be a disaster since Jez has arranged things with the pub’s technical guy so that he can stand out, using the acoustics and light for his own good. Alex is so angry that he considers leaving the band. Yet, that night they get the surprise of some kind of music producer to be in the audience, and he comes forward to tell them that they have potential and if his boss likes the songs as much as him, they could be in for a music contract.
I like the way the author keeps us up-to-date with every character’s life. I am quite intrigued to know what happens twenty years later, and how the events of that past summer could have any relevance. I am pretty sure the matter that Miles worries about in the prologue has to do with Bradley, who they found dead on the beach and left him there. Maybe the man’s remains have been found, but even so, how can they link that to Miles and his friends? It is not as if they can be accused of murder, is it?