I have to say that if anything, my opinion about Patrick became worse as the novel progressed. In the second part of the book we read the turmoil he goes through when his son died when he forgot the child was in the back of the car. He died of heatstroke and dehydration. Patrick felt the weight of blame on him, but for a while Belinda tried to fight for their family. Patrick had sessions with the forensic psychologist to whom he admitted that his coping mechanism usually was to forget his worries and all that entailed. So that was why he forgot about Daniel completely. Belinda tried to save their marriage despite her family’s opinion, but in the end Patrick just walked away.
In the third part, which is about Leonie once again, we learn that she is in London, and her friend Stella tells her that she knows that Patrick is in London working for a homeopathic centre. Leonie manages to locate him, and Patrick’s apology is quite lukewarm. Leonie tells him that she had a miscarriage, but his words are again very shallow. Yet, Leonie is once again silly when she entertains thoughts of a life with him. This man abandoned her when she was pregnant, and she is ready to forgive him. We know that losing Daniel the way he did broke him, but that doesn’t give him any right to treat Leonie the way he did.
When they meet a second time, they go for a picnic like they did the first time they met. Leonie has lied to her friend Stella as she disapproves of Patrick. Naturally!!! We learn through Stella that when Leonie lost the baby she was so depressed that Stella felt she was on the verge of suicide. Stella also thinks that the reason for her miscarriage was all the stress and anxiety when Patrick abandoned her. Before she goes to meet Patrick, she gets a call from Gaby, her boss and friend in France. The woman tells her that her husband has some heart condition, so he and she are thinking of retiring, so they have thought that Leonie could return and be their partner. Leonie can’t give her an answer as she is still thinking of Patrick. When they are picnicking together, Leonie thinks she could forgive him after all he had gone through, and there is a moment when he rests his hand on her, and she takes it as a good sign.
Then we learn that Patrick is in a relationship with a woman, Vicki, who has a teenage son. This is something he hasn’t breathed a word to Leonie. Vicki was his landlady, and he let himself fall in this new relationship. He and Bob, the woman’s woman, has a good relationship, and when the next day after his picnic with Leonie, he and Bob take part in a charity bike ride, there is an accident. Bob falls and has to be rushed to the hospital. Bob fears his demons as he has to go into the ambulance with him to Brighton and face the hospital and the doctors. Once again Patrick feels guilty of what has happened to Bob, but when Vicki reassures him that he has been there to support her son and her, Patrick realises that maybe this is the place he has to be. So he decides that Vicki and her son will be his family from then on.
In London Stella confronts Leonie about Patrick when she learns that Leonie has seen Patrick a second time. Then Stella has a revelation, and admits that she went to the clinic where he works to warn him off. He wasn’t there, but his receptionist told him that he was in Brighton with his family, that is, his partner and her son. Leonie realises that she has been a fool, and I happen to agree with her. I think Patrick treated her horribly, and the sad part is that he didn’t even stop to admit what he has done to her.
Wanting closure, Leonie goes to confront him. She reveals that she knows what happened to his son, and Patrick opens up to her some. Yet, she hopes that he can also be honest about his new family, but he keeps saying that it is only thanks to her that he got his life back. When it is clear that he is not going to volunteer the truth, Leonie can’t take it any longer, and calling him a liar, she leaves him there.
At the end of the book, Leonie has returned to France where she finds her happiness in her job. Patrick is with Vicki and Bob, but I am not sure if he is there because he loves her as I get the impression that he doesn’t want too much from him, so their relationship is not complete in my opinion.
I liked the book, but I have to say that I feel outraged on Leonie’s behalf. I think she was a nice lady, and Patrick used her and didn’t worry about her at all. I found Leonie’s attitude too spineless and passive, and she let Patrick treat her like a doormat.