As the book progresses, we learn more about this family.
The attitude of Elly’s father is bizarre as he keeps hoping something bad is going to happen. Now we learn that in his first case as a lawyer he had to defend a man accused of abusing a girl. Now the child is a grown woman and decided to report her abuser. Alfie did everything to discredit the woman because he really thought the man was falsely accused. Yet, after the man was acquitted, Alfie realised that he had made a mistake. The woman committed suicide, and that case has haunted him every since.
Joe gets her young heart broken when Charlie leaves for Dubai with his father. What hurt Joe was that Charlie didn’t bother to tell him even if he knew about the move for weeks. I love the conversation with Nancy later when he opens up to her and tells her about his anguish and hurt. Then much later his bitterness melts when the family learns that Charlie has been kidnapped in Beirut. It is then that Joe proves how deep his love for Charlie goes, as he prays for his release. He feels guilty because after Charlie left him, he wished him dead, and this time he makes a selfless declaration of love. Thankfully, Charlie is released safely, which they watch happening on TV, and from that moment on the ghost of Charlie whose name couldn’t be uttered in Joe’s presence becomes a reality, and I think this is the moment Joe is able to move on.
An important event that takes place in Elly’s life. After her parents have been on a second honeymoon in Cornwall, they come back announcing that they have bought a house there and they’re moving. So Elly has to say goodbye to her friend Jenny Penny. With the move we see that Elly loses her only friend, and she doesn’t make new ones in Cornwall. Besides, her dear rabbit is run over by some guests (her parents turned the house into a bed and breakfast) and dies, so Elly becomes lonely. I think that the only person who understands her feelings is Nancy. I really like Nancy. She is there for her nephew and niece when their parents aren’t able to show the support and encouragement they need. I think Nancy is quite sensible and wise, and the family wouldn’t be the same without her.
In the last part I’ve read Elly talks about someone called Arthur, who she finds compelling. The man is quite peculiar in his ways, and I think since he is different, Elly likes him so much. I think that she feels identified with him as she thinks she is different as well. The man goes to live in her parents’ bed and breakfast, and now Elly’s mother, knowing that her daughter doesn’t attend school as regularly as she should, has asked Arthur to home school Elly. I have to say that I found the part about Arthur a bit tedious, but I”ll have to wait and see the importance of this new character in Elly’s life.