Sunday, 24 June 2018

Review - The Story of Our Lives by Helen Warner

The Story of Our Lives is a book written by Helen Warner and was the first of her books that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading before. From the outset I have to say that I found this novel to be very impressive and was one that I enjoyed from beginning to end. As an avid reader, I’ve come across a lot of books that deal with the subject of friendship and whilst The Story of Our Lives is one of them, it was certainly one of the best I’ve ever read. 

When the book begins it’s 1997 we meet Sophie, Emily, Amy and Melissa who all became best friends at university but have not seen eachother for many years. At the time we first meet them, they are reunited at a beautiful cottage in Southwold for what will be just the first of their annual trips away together. As each of the four girls look forward to these trips away, they think they know eachother very well but as they catch-up with eachother as each year passes and reflect on their past lives, a huge secret is soon revealed, one that has the potential to shatter their friendship. 

Sophie, Emily, Amy and Melissa are four ladies who between them have most definitely experienced many ups and downs and highs and lows in life, something which made it so very easy to relate to them and become immersed in their story. Each character was fabulously well developed with each having a strong and distinctive voice and with the book spanning many years, by the end of the book it felt like I was an additional friend of theirs having got to know them all so very well. 

One of the very best things about The Story of Our Lives is the way in which it is written, I simply adored it and thought that Helen Warner has done an absolutely incredible job with it. Containing so much detail that you are never left with questions, the book moves smoothly and beautifully on from one year to the next. I particularly loved the way in which the book used real live events to introduce us to the new year and, although they didn’t relate to the story, they really got me thinking and reflecting on my own life, about where I was and what I was doing at that time. Despite dealing with some difficult themes, there were many memorable moments throughout the book that really cheered me up and put a smile on my face. 

At its very heart, The Story of Our Lives was a fabulously enjoyable and engaging book about friendship that highlighted how even through the hardest of times true friendship will never die. It was a really wonderful introduction to Helen’s writing and has left me feeling incredibly excited to go on and discover more written by her in the future.