I think that Connie has been treated unfairly.
From snippets about the past we see confrontations between her and Jeannette regarding the affair, and Noah even mentions that Connie was banished from the family memory. He even shows slight resentment when talking about her aunt. What Connie and Bill did was not right. Deceit is never justified, especially in this case when her lover’s wife was her sister. I have the impression, though, that Connie was vilified and blamed while Bill seemed to have been the innocent part. We have not seen the parts between Bill and his wife after the affair, but he did not lose anything and was forgiven. However, Connie was banished from the family for years. Bill was as much to blame as her. Actually, we see that Bill was the one who sought her out in the past, and he even started a kiss before getting married and he was the one who acted all contrite afterwards. I think he was a bit of a tease. If he had doubts about Jeanette or what he felt for her and Connie, he shouldn’t have married Jeanette and sorted out his feelings first.
In the past Connie tried to find her mother only to discover she is a foundling, being abandoned in a street. She had to accept that she could never know who her mother is. I have to think that her family didn’t act right with her. We see instances of her Uncle Geoff and even Jeanette telling her that she was lucky to have been taken in by Hilda and Tony. Didn’t they know how that made Connie feel? She never felt at home with Thornes as they made her feel she couldn’t be one of them, which later Jeanette confirms. It is really sad that they didn’t try harder.
I find the new relationship between Connie and Jeanette lovely. The sisters are finally having the kind of relationship that they should always have had. Connie comes up with the idea of a break in Bali, and Jeanette and Bill agree they should go. The trip there is tiring, and Connie is afraid for her sister. Yet, when they are there and Jeanette starts to see all these new things, sensations, and meet new people, she seems to flourish. It is a pity that she is so sick. Connie stops to think about what will happen when Jeanette is not there anymore. She is still in love with Bill, but she knows she can’t be with him if Jeanette dies. Why? I guess that it would feel wrong to step in when her sister dies.
As for Roxana, she is gaining confidence, and after she and Connie go and see the sea and they happen to run into Angela and Rayner, the girl is bold enough to go and see Angela and offer herself to work as some kind of Russian intermediary. Her tenacity and determination pay off just like it happened when Connie was young, and she gets the job. Then one night at the club the owner tries to get on with her, but Connie hits him, and even though she knows she won’t have a job there now, she is happy.
I am enjoying the book so much. I really love the characters and the relationships between them. It is a real pleasure to read this.