One Day in May – Catherine Alliott

Published by Michael Joseph (first published 2010)

ISBN 0718153626 (ISBN13: 9780718153625)

One fine day in May, Hattie’s life changes for ever… Single mother Hattie has plenty of reasons to be happy. Her antiques business is flourishing, her teenage son is settled at boarding school and she’s enjoying a fling with a younger, very sexy man. But when her job takes her back to the idyllic village of Little Crandon, painful memories of her first love – Dominic Forbes, the married politician she worked for years ago, the man who changed the course of her life – come flooding back… Things come to a head when Hattie bumps into Dominic’s widow and his gorgeous younger brother, Hal, in the village and she finds her world turned upside down. Will Hattie come clean about what really happened with Dominic all those years ago? And, if she does, is she ready to face the consequences? Whatever happens, Hattie comes to realize that you can’t keep running from your mistakes. It’s time to move on and maybe, just maybe, let herself fall in love again…

This is a library book – the first paperback I have read in a long time.  And I am pleased I persevered with it.

This is a story all about lies.  Big lies, little lies.  Lies to yourself and lies to your family.  I first started this book some time ago, and I trundled along with it, but in the last two weeks I have seriously started to get back into it.

I have to admit, that I was bowled over by the shocking admission that happens towards the end of the story.  I, as a reader, had been suckered into the lies that Hattie had managed to weave around her life, and when I read it, I was as shocked as the characters in the story.

And that is why I loved this story.  It was gritty, it was life, it was fantastic, and was real.  Hattie had spent a lifetime telling herself lies to make herself feel better, and while they didn’t unravel, it struck a chord, because often we tell ourselves lies in order to feel better about ourselves and our lives.

Hattie, as a character was shallow to start with; a married man that she had left and mourned for the rest of her young life; with a younger man that she told herself she wasn’t serious about; an adopted son that she adored, a thriving business, but there was something missing.  By the end of the story you knew what was missing.  And so did Hattie.  After years of lies, she finally found the truth.

This is definitely a four and a half stars out of five.

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