Review published on April 20, 2017.
A Life Between Us is the story of how losing her twin has affected the whole of Tina’s life and how secrets within families can eat you up. We have two time frames: one is 2014 in which Tina and her husband, Keaton (by the way, what a fab name!), are going about their everyday life. Tina has never been able to come to terms with Meg’s death at the age of eight. Keaton loves Tina dearly but temptation is coming his way and Tina’s strange behaviour is pushing him closer towards it. And we also have the sections in the past: Lucia’s story and then the long, hot summer of 1976, that summer when Tina and Meg are eight and we know disaster is coming.
Louise Walters has a really charming writing style. She deals with key issues of grief, loss and disappointment so well. In the interview at the back of the book she talks about trying to put a twist into her writing but finding that that is not something she excels at. And isn’t that refreshing at the moment? A straight up and down story with no big reveals, just a really well put together narrative where events unfold as we read them.
There are characters to really care about in this book. I really took to Keaton and Edward in particular, and I did also like Tina and her friend, Kath. Lucia was the villain of the piece and her dissatisfaction with life and everything in it was palpable. She was a character I loved to hate!
I’d previously read Louise Walters’ first book, Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase, which I enjoyed, but I enjoyed A Life Between Us more. It’s a brave foray into self-publishing for the author, which I believe will pay off. It’s an excellent read. I love to read about families and how they interact with each other and deal with life’s trials and tribulations and this is the perfect book to showcase that. The different time frames work well as a vehicle for revealing the story and it all came together beautifully at the end. I loved it!
Nicola Smith 5/4
A Life Between Us by Louise Walters
Matador 9781785892905 pbk Mar 2017