web site hit counter The Way We Were: A heartbreaking family drama novel about love, loss and new beginnings - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Way We Were: A heartbreaking family drama novel about love, loss and new beginnings

Availability: Ready to download

‘BRILLIANT!!! I could not put this book down until the very end. I felt every emotion when reading this book …This is such a raw and powerful love story.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars She did what was right for her children. But now she faces an impossible choice … When Alice’s husband, Ben, dies she is utterly devastated, not least for her grieving daughters. But just wh ‘BRILLIANT!!! I could not put this book down until the very end. I felt every emotion when reading this book …This is such a raw and powerful love story.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars She did what was right for her children. But now she faces an impossible choice … When Alice’s husband, Ben, dies she is utterly devastated, not least for her grieving daughters. But just when she has begun to rebuild their lives, she receives a phone call that turns her family’s world upside down once more. Ben is still alive. The children are overjoyed to have their father back and assume life will continue as before. But Alice isn’t so sure. Both she and Ben have changed. Keeping her heartbroken family together meant Alice had to find a strength she never knew she had. And in the darkest days, she drew her strength from Dan: her friend, and rock in hard times. Once more Alice has to stay strong for her family. But can she and Ben really carry on the way they were? And is that what Alice really wants? A deeply moving novel that will have you completely gripped to the very last page, The Way We Were is perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Jojo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks. What people are saying about The Way We Were: ‘The Way We Were is a touching, heart-wrenching tale about love, grief, and making choices. I loved everything about this book. Sinead Moriarty is fast becoming a favorite author of mine.’ Write-Escape ‘There are so many words that can be used to describe this book, but the best one would have to be BRILLIANT!!! Goodreads Reviewer ‘A powerful read that will leave you hooked.’ Goodreads Reviewer ‘First book I've read by this author. I loved her story telling.’ Goodreads Reviewer ‘Heartfelt and deeply moving … I couldn't put it down.’ Susan Lewis 'Intriguing and thought-provoking ... a great read.' Katie Fforde ‘Really great story! Very hard to put down. So moving and deep.’ Goodreads Reviewer ‘This was another book I just couldn't put down until I had finished it.’ Read Along with Sue ‘Sensational. It completely blew me away and was everything I thought it would be and more.’ Han’s Book Reviews ‘Unquestionably her best, it simply blew everything else she has written out of the water.’ Goodreads Reviewer ‘A brilliantly written book about life, love and finding out what you really want.’ Goodreads Reviewer ‘Would recommend this book to anyone, a bit of a romance, but with realism and heartbreak and drama too!’ Goodreads Reviewer The Way We Were won the Irish Book Award for Popular Fiction in 2015.


Compare

‘BRILLIANT!!! I could not put this book down until the very end. I felt every emotion when reading this book …This is such a raw and powerful love story.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars She did what was right for her children. But now she faces an impossible choice … When Alice’s husband, Ben, dies she is utterly devastated, not least for her grieving daughters. But just wh ‘BRILLIANT!!! I could not put this book down until the very end. I felt every emotion when reading this book …This is such a raw and powerful love story.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars She did what was right for her children. But now she faces an impossible choice … When Alice’s husband, Ben, dies she is utterly devastated, not least for her grieving daughters. But just when she has begun to rebuild their lives, she receives a phone call that turns her family’s world upside down once more. Ben is still alive. The children are overjoyed to have their father back and assume life will continue as before. But Alice isn’t so sure. Both she and Ben have changed. Keeping her heartbroken family together meant Alice had to find a strength she never knew she had. And in the darkest days, she drew her strength from Dan: her friend, and rock in hard times. Once more Alice has to stay strong for her family. But can she and Ben really carry on the way they were? And is that what Alice really wants? A deeply moving novel that will have you completely gripped to the very last page, The Way We Were is perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Jojo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks. What people are saying about The Way We Were: ‘The Way We Were is a touching, heart-wrenching tale about love, grief, and making choices. I loved everything about this book. Sinead Moriarty is fast becoming a favorite author of mine.’ Write-Escape ‘There are so many words that can be used to describe this book, but the best one would have to be BRILLIANT!!! Goodreads Reviewer ‘A powerful read that will leave you hooked.’ Goodreads Reviewer ‘First book I've read by this author. I loved her story telling.’ Goodreads Reviewer ‘Heartfelt and deeply moving … I couldn't put it down.’ Susan Lewis 'Intriguing and thought-provoking ... a great read.' Katie Fforde ‘Really great story! Very hard to put down. So moving and deep.’ Goodreads Reviewer ‘This was another book I just couldn't put down until I had finished it.’ Read Along with Sue ‘Sensational. It completely blew me away and was everything I thought it would be and more.’ Han’s Book Reviews ‘Unquestionably her best, it simply blew everything else she has written out of the water.’ Goodreads Reviewer ‘A brilliantly written book about life, love and finding out what you really want.’ Goodreads Reviewer ‘Would recommend this book to anyone, a bit of a romance, but with realism and heartbreak and drama too!’ Goodreads Reviewer The Way We Were won the Irish Book Award for Popular Fiction in 2015.

30 review for The Way We Were: A heartbreaking family drama novel about love, loss and new beginnings

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Sinéad Moriarty is one of my favourite authors who I have come to eagerly await her 'next book'. Oftentimes they are written around family, dysfunctional or otherwise and this one is written in a way that it could happen to you, to someone you know or someone who knows someone. Its realistic in its entirely and the characters become fixtures in your head. Everything that could be said about what the book is about has already been covered by a lot of other reviewers and for me to add more will just Sinéad Moriarty is one of my favourite authors who I have come to eagerly await her 'next book'. Oftentimes they are written around family, dysfunctional or otherwise and this one is written in a way that it could happen to you, to someone you know or someone who knows someone. Its realistic in its entirely and the characters become fixtures in your head. Everything that could be said about what the book is about has already been covered by a lot of other reviewers and for me to add more will just ruin the saga for you all. I do have one fault, I think the 'cutting yourself i.e self harming' episodes could have been gone into more I think, not for gorey issues but for the indepth of the situation and why people may do this, the emotional side. This was another book I just couldn't put down until I had finished it. * My thanks go to Penguin Books (UK) via Net Galley for my chance to read this and review it*

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tania

    I've read six of this author's books, but the previous one was years ago. I thought the subject matter was very interesting, and I liked that there were a few different issues that were addressed throughout. I can not imagine how it must feel when your supposedly dead husband arrives back on the scene just as you've moved on with your life. Jools and Kevin are great characters, and helped lighten the mood throughout. I just wished I felt more while reading this story, but even though some of the I've read six of this author's books, but the previous one was years ago. I thought the subject matter was very interesting, and I liked that there were a few different issues that were addressed throughout. I can not imagine how it must feel when your supposedly dead husband arrives back on the scene just as you've moved on with your life. Jools and Kevin are great characters, and helped lighten the mood throughout. I just wished I felt more while reading this story, but even though some of the events were very upsetting I never cried or felt deeply upset, but I suppose that this makes it the perfect holiday read. The Story: Alice and Ben are a couple like any other bound together by love, work, children, familiarity and a shared sense of purpose. But when Ben decides to pursue a dream of his own, he brings devastation on his family and, as far as they know, their lives will never be the same again. Alice and Ben are now on different paths: she needs to put their shared life behind her; he needs to remember it to survive.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Philomena Callan Cheekypee

    This is my first read by this author and it certainly won't be the last as I loved this story. This story is based on Alice, her husband Ben and her two daughters Jools and Holly. When Ben dies Alice's life falls apart. Everything she knows is gone but she must keep going for her daughters. After struggling she finds love again and moves on with the blessings of her daughter. However a phone call pulls her into turmoil again. Can she survive? I would have liked to have read more about the self har This is my first read by this author and it certainly won't be the last as I loved this story. This story is based on Alice, her husband Ben and her two daughters Jools and Holly. When Ben dies Alice's life falls apart. Everything she knows is gone but she must keep going for her daughters. After struggling she finds love again and moves on with the blessings of her daughter. However a phone call pulls her into turmoil again. Can she survive? I would have liked to have read more about the self harming subject as I feel it isn't written about enough. If your looking for a really well written powerful and emotional story then I highly recommend you 1-click this gem.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Madden

    This is bestselling author, Sinéad Moriarty's eleventh novel and a new release from her is always something to looks forward to. A talented women's fiction writer, who always manages to get right into the minds of her fictional characters, giving the readers the chance to escape into an embracing atmosphere, a bit like a favourite reading nook. This novel takes things a little further than her previous ones, as it has a dual location, and an unusual storyline... Alice, Ben and their two daughters This is bestselling author, Sinéad Moriarty's eleventh novel and a new release from her is always something to looks forward to. A talented women's fiction writer, who always manages to get right into the minds of her fictional characters, giving the readers the chance to escape into an embracing atmosphere, a bit like a favourite reading nook. This novel takes things a little further than her previous ones, as it has a dual location, and an unusual storyline... Alice, Ben and their two daughters, Jools and Holly, live a comfortable life in London. Alice is a GP, Ben is a surgeon and they have daily battles with Jool's homework and hormones, a mini Einstein in their eleven year old, Holly, and a relationship that may not be in its first flush of romance, but nevertheless is a sturdy marriage. Alice wishes Ben would spend more time at home, helping with the dramatic Jools and Ben has a longing for more oomph in his daily grind. When he signs up for a humanitarian trip to Eritrea, he never expects his journey may well change the rest of their lives. Despite pleas from Alice, the trip goes ahead and with disastrous consequences. With Alice struggling to move on with her life and Ben desperately trying to return to his, time ticks by. A reunion that should be full of delight and intense happiness turns out to be bittersweet. Can the family find enough in their past to protect their future? Anyone has been married a while, especially with growing children in the mix, can recognise the little moments of tension that pass between Ben and Alice at the beginning of this book. Routine and the mundane, endless list of chores can eat away at the best of us. Ben is having a bit of a midlife crisis, but instead of buying a sports car, or having an affair, he has taken up cycling. A top of the range bike and a vast selection of Lycra seems to be the crisis-du-jour these days. Have a quick glance at the age group of these road warriors the next time you are on an evening or Sunday drive. Chances are, there are more than a few Bens in amongst the helmet wearing bunch. Alice doesn't seem to have time for individual pursuits. Working and family life pretty much have her days filled to the brim. She is devastated to learn that Ben is heading off to a place they know little of, and while teaching inexperienced doctors how to improve their surgical skills is a very worthwhile cause, she would rather he taught their high-maintenance teenager how to finish homework. Jools is a handful, but the author has cleverly injected humour into her more frustrating moments. The Kardashians are her role models (God love us all) and she is not the sharpest tool in the box. I could picture her eye-rolling and iphone thumbing all the way through the novel and she is perfectly balanced out her younger sibling, Holly. Eleven years old, crazy about books and random facts, school is a little piece of heaven for her, as she soaks up knowledge like a sponge. The two girls may have nothing in common but as their world comes crumbling down around them, they learn to love and respect each other under new circumstances. The supporting characters really make this family drama stand out from other women's fiction. Kevin, Alice's gay brother is stereo-typical and flamboyant, but a great addition. He lightens the mood when the story has darker moments and adds a modern look to what a family is. The Irish housekeeper, Nora, is great craic and would be a welcome addition to any family. Her 'words of wisdom' are priceless and her wages well earned. Declan, the medical intern assigned to work with Ben in Africa, is from Dublin and is the chalk to Ben's cheese. The duo are thrown together under extreme circumstances but become each others saviours through some dark and depressing times. Declan has a temper but also a wicked sense of humour, which adds to the overall atmosphere in Eritrea. Throw in a poker straight father-in-law, a few amusing stories from Alice's patients and some of Jool's finest grammatical gaffs and you have the perfect package. This may be Sinéad Moriarty's finest work. Well researched, perfect pacing and an ending that keeps you guessing, this is a wonderful read. You'll feel like you are sitting in the family living room at times and that you are involved in the heartbreaking decisions that have to be made. Female fiction has just stepped up another notch. with this lyrical, loving read from one of Ireland's finest authors. Ideal for fans of JoJo Moynes and Marian Keyes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Samantha March

    I have read Sinead Moriarty in the past, and I knew I was settling in with a good women’s fiction read when opening The Way We Were. I closed the book knowing I had just read a great women’s fiction novel. This truly is a gripping family drama, and one that I could not put down. Everything changes for Alice when she finds out her husband Ben was killed in Africa. Not only is her world shattered, but they have two young daughters Ben also left behind. Alice tries to be a good mother while working I have read Sinead Moriarty in the past, and I knew I was settling in with a good women’s fiction read when opening The Way We Were. I closed the book knowing I had just read a great women’s fiction novel. This truly is a gripping family drama, and one that I could not put down. Everything changes for Alice when she finds out her husband Ben was killed in Africa. Not only is her world shattered, but they have two young daughters Ben also left behind. Alice tries to be a good mother while working through her grief, and struggling to pick up the pieces. But in Africa, Ben and another surgeon have been taken hostage, and spend the next two years in captivity, playing doctor to all their kidnappers. They finally escape, and are reunited with their families. But once home, all does not simply go back to normal. Ben struggles with PTSD, and Alice tries to understand how – just when she finally started to live again – another twist is thrown her way. Their daughters are caught in the middle, and the family struggles to find the way they were – before. I cried several times while reading, and could feel my heart pounding in certain situations. We knew from the prologue and the synopsis that Ben makes it out of captivity, but there were still situations that made me question if he would really survive. Once he returned home, I felt horrible watching the family try to make sense of everything. How does one come back from the dead, and how would you react in that situation? It was challenging to read at times and I felt hopelessness several times alongside Alice, but the ending was so beautifully written, and I closed my Kindle with tears in my eyes. Reviewed for Readers Favorite

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leona

    Another great read from Sinead Moriarty. I've read and enjoyed all her books and this one was no exception. It's a very easy reading but very enjoyable book. I really liked the chapters where the younger daughter Holly was speaking in. Another great read from Sinead Moriarty. I've read and enjoyed all her books and this one was no exception. It's a very easy reading but very enjoyable book. I really liked the chapters where the younger daughter Holly was speaking in.

  7. 5 out of 5

    H

    Great idea, lack lustre delivery. I've read some beautiful writing in my time so I'm afraid I'm judging Moriarty by rather high standards but this book could have done with so much more editing. Far fetched, unrealistic dialogue. Great idea, lack lustre delivery. I've read some beautiful writing in my time so I'm afraid I'm judging Moriarty by rather high standards but this book could have done with so much more editing. Far fetched, unrealistic dialogue.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Fenton

    An enjoyable and emotional story about family, love and grief.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bookread2day

    Sinead Moriarty first book The Baby Trail was published in 2004, since then Sinead has published many novels. The new novel The Way We Were will be published in March 2016. I am so pleased for Sinead Moriarty that she won the Irish Book Award for popular fiction with The Way We Were. The new novel is a page turner with a family that has everything and makes you think what can possibly happen. Alice and Ben are a happy married couple who have shared twenty two years together with two daughters. A Sinead Moriarty first book The Baby Trail was published in 2004, since then Sinead has published many novels. The new novel The Way We Were will be published in March 2016. I am so pleased for Sinead Moriarty that she won the Irish Book Award for popular fiction with The Way We Were. The new novel is a page turner with a family that has everything and makes you think what can possibly happen. Alice and Ben are a happy married couple who have shared twenty two years together with two daughters. Alice is a busy GP and Ben is a general surgeon. Alice and her brother Kevin lost both her parents in a car crash. Kevin is gay and is having trouble meeting a nice man. As for Ben he had a lovely wife and a beautiful home, two healthy daughters and they both had good careers, but it wasn't enough for him. He needed something else. When Ben gets a chance to do something stimulating by going to do surgery on a man in Eritrea in Africa, he breaks the news to Alice. When Ben dies suddenly Alice's world fall apart. But after three years the unexpected happens and Ben comes back to Alice. But can the family go back to the way they were?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    always love this author but this I 5hink is my favourite. my only negative would be I felt the issue on self harm could have been dealt with better. great characters great story

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emma Crowley

    Incredibly The Way We Were is the eleventh full length novel from Sinead Moriarty and unquestionably it is her best, it simply blew everything else she has written out of the water. I have loved Sinead's books right from the very beginning when she released The Baby Trail. You can really see with this new book how much her writing has matured, it seems to have moved up a whole new gear. Judging from the cover I was expecting a nice easy read about relationships etc. Instead I got a gripping, at Incredibly The Way We Were is the eleventh full length novel from Sinead Moriarty and unquestionably it is her best, it simply blew everything else she has written out of the water. I have loved Sinead's books right from the very beginning when she released The Baby Trail. You can really see with this new book how much her writing has matured, it seems to have moved up a whole new gear. Judging from the cover I was expecting a nice easy read about relationships etc. Instead I got a gripping, at times harrowing, thought provoking, gritty story that will stay with me for quite some time. Split into three distinct sections that come together wonderfully The Way We Were is a story of relationships and the love, loyalty, compassion, dedication and respect we have for each other. We may be torn apart by the most cruelest of circumstances in our lives but love will always conquer all. The book opens as Alice Gregory is at her engagement party to multi-millionaire Dan. Dan says 'Second chances are hard to come by in life and I'm grabbing this one with with both hands. Here's to new beginnings with the most wonderful woman in the world'. Alice is embracing her second chance but should she still be thinking about her first chance? As Dan's older daughter Stella and Alice's children Jools and Holly look on with pleasure, a phone call disturbs the some what happy scene. A phone call that will change everything that they have been through over the past number of years. Alice's husband Ben is not after all dead from a land mine explosion in Eritrea. In fact he is very much alive and on his way back to the family he longed for during his days of imprisonment. Just what has Alice gotten herself into? Engaged to Dan and Ben about to walk back into their lives. A huge decision needed to be made, a total quandary of the heart and soul. One I would not rather have had to make myself. Part one takes us back in time to London October 2012, Alice and her husband Ben are a typical everyday family beset by the pressures life and work can bring. Alice is a GP running a very successful surgery with her brother Kevin as her medical secretary. Ben is a top surgeon in his field, a workaholic who is always craving the next buzz and wants to remain at the top of his game. Their children Jools 15 and Holly 11 are two girls who have the usual relationship young sisters have. Holly was the stand out star of this book, a very clever girl who forever had her head in a book and could give you information on a range of topics slipped effortlessly into any conversation the adults may have been having. She was funny but she didn't realise it but yet had a more vulnerable side too. When she is in pain and suffering she relies on her calculator to work out hours and minutes from when events occurred. It acts as a form of comfort for her 'Working out numbers helps to stop my head hurting. I can't do anything about my heart, it feels as if it was squashed by something heavy, but if I do numbers my head hurts a bit less'. Jools' hormones are raging and she seems to be against the world forever engaging in arguments with Alice. Really her whole personality was bravado, an act to cover her deepest feelings and the fact she does find school more challenging than her brainbox of a sister but who wants to admit that? Poor Alice feels like she is rearing the girls singlehandedly as Ben swans in at the last moment and gets all the glory and to experience the nicer aspects of parenting. So when Ben decides work as a surgeon is not enough for him just now and a chance to operate on a minister in Eritrea presents itself he jumps at the opportunity. Initially Ben came across as just arrogant and cocky, viewing his job as far superior to that of Alice's. He was selfish in his decision to leave behind his family and pursue his own ambitions and I slightly detested him for that. Readers would be forgiven he got his comeuppance but really his family are left devastated by his death alongside colleague Declan and Alice is the one left to pick up the pieces and somehow unbearably forge ahead with a new life and make her daughters the best they possibly can be. Never before have I seen a character as in Ben go through such a transformation through all he endures and suffers and I found myself changing my opinion of him as the novel progressed. The scenes in Eritrea were astoundingly well written and the author has shed light on a country and conflict that years ago you may have seen on the news but have now long forgotten. The scenes were disturbing but in fact a reality of conflict. Nicely balanced alongside the gravity of the situation was the humour especially from Irish lad Declan. I felt the men's pain and torment yet their will and determination to get back to the ones they loved and cared for shone through. How can Alice possibly cope with the loss of her husband, her friend, her lover, her confidant, her everything, the father of her two girls? There had been tension and unease between them recently but that was not to say things wouldn't have smoothed themselves out. Alice sinks into a zone that will be difficult to bring her back from but she must be strong for the sake of her children. Kevin was such a support to Alice and the girls and his character was brilliantly written he had me laughing out loud with his antics and sayings in his long term quest to find a man that he could spend the rest of his life with. Yet when his softer side was needed most he was there and his words of advice and comfort were just what was called for. For some reason I just couldn't warm to Alice and that was right from the beginning not just from when trauma besets her life. It's not that her character wasn't written that well. In fact all the characters were excellent and fitted well into the novel. There was something a bit cold about her in my mind anyway. I did feel the loss of Ben was devastating for her but when she meets Dan it all felt a bit surreal and fake, I did think others were carrying her for a while and she needed to dig very deep to come back to the surface and see that Holly and Jools were suffering and needed her. 'You're just living. You can either sit still and be miserable for ever or move on'. I don't blame her in the least for moving on and trying to find happiness after much grieving and reflection in dark dark days. But there was even more choices and decisions to come in the future that would put her to the test. The girls think it's an easy choice but is it really? Alice was put in an unenviable position and I genuinely (thankfully) had no clue how this would all pan out as a lot had to unfold before a stunning conclusion could be reached. One in which when the connection to the title became apparent made me melt just that little bit. In the acknowledgements at the end of this book Sinead Moriarty mentions The Way We Were was a book she had wanted to write for a long time. I could sense this as I read the book as it was clear her everything had gone in to the writing of this incredible novel. She said she was nervous about the Eritrean scenes and the surgeries. I can understand how she felt this way because at times I did feel the technical jargon and gruesome details of the operations was a bit much but on reflection it really needed to be there to show just what Ben and Declan were going through. Earlier in her writing career this would have put readers off and truthfully Sinead wouldn't have been known for this kind of book then. Now that she is a very well established author she could just let go and write the book she had wanted to. Gone are the days of the nice easy reads like The Baby Trail - yes the subject matter was relevant and dealt with very well in that book- but with this new novel Sinead really has stepped up her game and I found there to be echoes of Jodi Picoult here. I'd love to see the author writing more gritty books like this. It's a great direction she has moved in and she deserved to win the Bord Gáis book award last year. The Way We were was powerful, deep, raw, honest, emotional and I absolutely loved it. The writing and characterisation was superb throughout, so much thought, time and effort went into every line. There were so many lines I stopped and reread to absorb their meaning for life and in relation to what they brought to the story. Sinead has shown she is a force to be reckoned with and if this is the kind of book she will now write in the future I for one can't wait to see what happens next. With the long Easter weekend approaching The Way We Were should be firmly on your reading list.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Aiello

    I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. Imagine you are in a happy, albeit a bit stale, marriage. You have two children, a well-established career, but your husband is going through a bit of a mid-life crisis and decides he needs a new challenge. And that challenge comes in the form of him taking his less than happy ass to Africa to do some medical work. You don't want him to go...but he's going. You have words with him, he leaves, and a little while later you learn I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. Imagine you are in a happy, albeit a bit stale, marriage. You have two children, a well-established career, but your husband is going through a bit of a mid-life crisis and decides he needs a new challenge. And that challenge comes in the form of him taking his less than happy ass to Africa to do some medical work. You don't want him to go...but he's going. You have words with him, he leaves, and a little while later you learn he's been killed when his vehicle hits a landmine. You grieve, your barely hold yourself and your daughters together, but you make it through. After a couple years, you finally can move on and find someone to love...a rich, handsome someone, who wants nothing more to take care of you. You get engaged, and on the night you announce your engagement, you find out your husband wasn't really killed, he was kidnapped, has escaped, and is coming home, expecting for life to just kind of pick up where it left off. And there you have our story of Alice and Ben, their two daughters, and Dan, the new man in her life. Alice has choices to make. Ben has amends to make and the Herculean task of helping Alice remember what they had and making her fall in love with him again. I read a great deal of this book with a giant lump in my throat. It was a really lengthy book, but yet I wanted more...a more in-depth look into Alice's new relationship with Dan and why she fell in love with him. More angst, more conflict...just more.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Janna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. How does this book have such high ratings?!?! If I wasn't bored, I was pissed off! Alice lets her children and husband treat her like garbage from the start, and her non-stop pity party was so boring. Those middle chapters went on FOREVER!!! Reading this from Holly's perspective with all her "Mummys" and "Daddys" took me right out of the story. Ben's chapters were the most interesting, but I didn't read the book for a war story. I wanted to read about a woman recovering from loss, falling in lov How does this book have such high ratings?!?! If I wasn't bored, I was pissed off! Alice lets her children and husband treat her like garbage from the start, and her non-stop pity party was so boring. Those middle chapters went on FOREVER!!! Reading this from Holly's perspective with all her "Mummys" and "Daddys" took me right out of the story. Ben's chapters were the most interesting, but I didn't read the book for a war story. I wanted to read about a woman recovering from loss, falling in love again, and how she'd make her decision in the end. Which apparently was made entirely out of guilt and gender roles!!!! She feels awful for sleeping with her FIANCE after her "husband" RAPED her, but then Husband gets to go flirt and make-out with his coworkers and no one bats an eye!??!?!? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK DID I JUST READ!?!?!?! If she had to pick one, Dan was her true love. He appreciated her and loved her and took care of her from DAY ONE!!! And he didn't need to be held hostage for two years to do it!! Nor did he need to make Alice feel guilty or jealous to win her back. That said, I didn't like with how much Dan pushed Alice and the girls into choosing him. Honestly, I'd rather Alice have told them both to piss off, so she could find her self-worth again without all of them trying to manipulate and guilt her.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cristina Manzano

    Ok, but not gripping. It was really light reading.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    I received an arc copy if this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. What an amazing book. Alice is married to Ben and they have two daughters. Alice receives word that Ben was killed on a trip that she begged him not to go on. She is devastated and goes through two years of grieving and finally meets someone new and is ready to start a new life with him when she gets a call that her husband did not die.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anjana Avinash

    The Way We Were is the first book of Sinead Moriarty’s that I’m reading and after I started I came to know that she’s an award-winning, very popular Irish author and this is her 11th novel. This book leaves us in no doubt why she’s so popular. Sinead has a firm grasp on the story and that’s reflected in the seamless way it moves forward. The basic storyline is something that I’ve encountered many times before – a mid-life crisis faced by the man of the house and how it affects the rest of the fa The Way We Were is the first book of Sinead Moriarty’s that I’m reading and after I started I came to know that she’s an award-winning, very popular Irish author and this is her 11th novel. This book leaves us in no doubt why she’s so popular. Sinead has a firm grasp on the story and that’s reflected in the seamless way it moves forward. The basic storyline is something that I’ve encountered many times before – a mid-life crisis faced by the man of the house and how it affects the rest of the family. But the ingredients added by Sinead are unexpected and makes it interesting. Ben is a surgeon and Alice is a GP living in London with their two daughters – fifteen year old beautiful Jools and eleven year old Holly. We meet them at a time when they are stuck deep in the rut created over the years of living together as a family. We know that feeling, of falling into a routine and not being able to break out if it. Alice thinks that she’s ended up stifling her growth in order to look after the family, while Ben is frustrated that he cannot do anything different to break the mundaneness of his life. Jools is a stunning sixteen year old who hates studying because she’s not able to cope with it. She has set her mind on plunging into the world of fashion and the Kardashians are her idols. Holly is the quieter one who is brilliant and prefers the world of books. On a spur of the moment impulse, Ben agrees to accompany another doctor to war-torn Eritrea for a couple of days, a move which is vehemently opposed by Alice who has still not been able to free herself from the trauma of her parents’ death in an accident many years back. Ben’s trip is the turning point in the story. He is unable to return due to various reasons and the rest of the novel is about how Alice, the children and Ben himself deal with this. Each one of them has to dig deep within themselves to discover their true strength. The process of dealing with loss is not an easy one and the pain is compounded by feelings of guilt felt by each of the protagonists who blame themselves somehow for contributing to the tragic situation. The other characters who form a strong supporting cast are Alice’s brother Kevin, Declan the medical intern who is stuck along with Ben in Eritrea, and Dan who enters Alice’s life. The true dilemma that the family faces is when Ben returns. A new family order that Alice has carefully created on the debris of her old one is shattered once again. Sinead has excelled in dealing with the complexity of the situation and doesn’t let it descend into sheer melodrama. Alice’s predicament is heart breaking and the way she handles her children and her own life through this storm and steers them to the shore is inspiring. Alice is not without faults, but they only make her more believable and endearing. My only disappointment was the way a serious issue like self-harming in teenagers was dealt with so casually. Maybe the author had her own reasons and didn’t want to be sidetracked from the crux of Alice’s story. Otherwise I enjoyed The Way We Were by Sinead Moriarty and look forward to reading more of her books.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I am a huge fan of Sinéad Moriarty and have loved almost everyone I have read. I don't always read the synopsis of the book when I see she is the author because I figure I'm going to like it. So I started this book not really knowing what it was about. The book definitely didn't disappoint. It was a little predictable, but I can overlook that part. Alice and Ben are both doctors raising two daughters. Holly and Jools. Jools is almost sixteen and has all the attitude of a typical teenage plus a l I am a huge fan of Sinéad Moriarty and have loved almost everyone I have read. I don't always read the synopsis of the book when I see she is the author because I figure I'm going to like it. So I started this book not really knowing what it was about. The book definitely didn't disappoint. It was a little predictable, but I can overlook that part. Alice and Ben are both doctors raising two daughters. Holly and Jools. Jools is almost sixteen and has all the attitude of a typical teenage plus a little extra. She was honestly my least favorite character. Alice is a general practitioner while Ben is a surgeon. Ben is bored in his current situation and decides to travel to Africa to perform a surgery when one of his colleagues can't make it. Alice doesn't want him to go. While Jools is blowing out her birthday candles, Alice gets the phone call that Ben was killed. Ben and Declan, and intern, were not killed but taken hostage by a group of soldiers who needed their help. For two years, Alice believes her husband is dead and finally starts to live her life again and it's at her engagement announcement that she receives a call from someone she never expected to hear from again. I love Sinéad Moriarty's writing style. I enjoyed the characters and the story-line. Yes, Jools was a little over the top. I couldn't put the book down because I wanted to see what happened to Ben and Declan. I definitely recommend the book. Thanks to NetGalley, Bookouture and the author, Sinéad Moriarty, for a free electronic ARC of this novel.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Namrata Ganti

    The Way We Were, is the story of a mother, a wife, a woman, as she strives to make everyone around her happy, to do the right thing as she sees it. Alice, our protagonist is juggling life as a General Practitioner and a mother. She has the support of her brother and throughout the book, it is wonderful to see how close the siblings are. Her relationship with Ben is just normal, the way most couples are, until it seems as though Ben is going through a mid-life crisis. The author starts off by intr The Way We Were, is the story of a mother, a wife, a woman, as she strives to make everyone around her happy, to do the right thing as she sees it. Alice, our protagonist is juggling life as a General Practitioner and a mother. She has the support of her brother and throughout the book, it is wonderful to see how close the siblings are. Her relationship with Ben is just normal, the way most couples are, until it seems as though Ben is going through a mid-life crisis. The author starts off by introducing the characters to us, describing their lives from day to day to give us a sense of who they are. Then slowly, the plot thickens with Ben taking an assignment to operate in Africa. He takes this as his opportunity to find meaning in his work and to do something more. Alice, having gone through the trauma of losing her parents, lives in constant fear of losing those close to her. The author manages to bring out the emotions and thoughts of the characters through this period and highlights the decisions they are forced to take. The children, Jools and Holly are polar opposites, and we follow their journey of understanding, acceptance and growth in this book as well. As the story progresses, Alice receives a call that leaves the whole family in shock and mourning. Ben is dead. It is an unimaginable situation for the characters and the reader can feel their pain and emotions. The shock and horror of the situation and the need for Alice to stay strong for her children are key parts of the plot. The author describes the situations and how the children react. How they slowly come together as a family to support each other. How each one deals with the grief of losing a loved one. As time progresses, they slowly accept and move a little forward with their lives, to the extent that Alice starts seeing someone and the girls really like him. Now imagine the characters' shock when on the day of announcing her engagement again, Alice receives a call from Ben, her supposedly dead husband saying that he is alive and coming back, after three whole years. Is it possible to go back to the way things were? Is it possible to accept that things have changed, the people have changed and still live together? So many questions arise and form the crux of the later part of the book. The fact that Alice is willing to try everything to keep her marriage together, mainly for the sake of her children shows a deep sense of character. Though there were many times I wondered why something was happening, it all came together in the end. Ben's way of wooing his wife and showing her what she was missing felt a little over the top and too easy for me. The issues brought out are something many people can relate to (with respect to mid-life crisis and teenage years). The love between two people and the effort needed to keep a relationship alive, the sacrifices and compromises are portrayed well. The journey towards acceptance and healing is a long one, but is worth it in the end, if the effort is spent by all. The story is well written and worth a read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    geovana siqueira

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read such positive reviews of this book and I can say that I felt this book in a totally different way. I want to point out that this theme was amazing and his writing was great light but I did not like the development of the character alice after Ben's return. She was selfish, shallow and frivolous. I liked that she met Dan and had a relationship with him, this part was natural and coherent but it was impossible for her to have forgotten the love of her life in 2 years and to love another man I read such positive reviews of this book and I can say that I felt this book in a totally different way. I want to point out that this theme was amazing and his writing was great light but I did not like the development of the character alice after Ben's return. She was selfish, shallow and frivolous. I liked that she met Dan and had a relationship with him, this part was natural and coherent but it was impossible for her to have forgotten the love of her life in 2 years and to love another man in 6 months of relationship and to have received her husband so coldly . It was unbelievable to me. Alice and Ben had loved each other for 20 years, did not forget a true love in two years, even (and mostly) with all her suffering thinking he was dead. there are people who remain passionate even after 5, 10 years. Alice said she cared about her daughters in the first place, but that was not true, she behaved like an egocentric teen. After Ben's return, Alice betrayed him and the only one to realize was her 18-year-old daughter? it was so bad alice's attitudes that it seemed that all the other characters, including their teenage daughters, were there only to justify and support their attitudes towards the reader, so the reader would not be angry with her, but I stayed. god, ben was kidnapped for two years, slept in chains and she did not feel empathy, solidarity? her daughters were anxious and nervous and she did not understand? And Dan? man, he was so manipulative and controlling! I was the only one to realize that he and his daughter were manipulating everyone? and the meeting of the two with Jools and holy in the cafeteria? it was horrible and egotistical on the part of Dan to force the encounter and try to manipulate their minds (if I were their mother I would destroy dan and stella for making them suffer in that delicate moment). in short, the book was good until Ben's return, after Alice became a superficial and very selfish character that did not match the first part. alice having chosen to stay with ben seems like it was only because of family and not out of love, and I hated it. I hated she'd betrayed Ben, she said she loved Dan when she broke up with him, and the way she treated Ben when she went to meet him. I would never accept my husband speaking to me like that, it would be a disappointment to me. I hate betrayals and alice betrayed ben, really, after his return. just as I think ben kissed sarah (he liked everything, touch, kiss) was also betrayal and I did not like it. I do not want anyone to stay with me out of obligation, and I think this author did not know how to develop the story of the marriage so beautiful (even with defects) that she built at the beginning of the book and that turned into a relationship of appearances for the children with betrayals both sides.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sally Coles

    Alice and Ben seem to have it all, he is a surgeon and she is a gp and they have two beautiful daughters Jools and Holly. There are the normal family niggles, Jools is a hormonal teenager and needs constant supervision over her homework and Ben is never around - if he is not a work he is out on his bike and appears to be having a midlife crisis. When he gets offered a one off job for a week in Eritrea Ben jumps at the chance but Alice is not happy, her parents were killed in a car crash and she l Alice and Ben seem to have it all, he is a surgeon and she is a gp and they have two beautiful daughters Jools and Holly. There are the normal family niggles, Jools is a hormonal teenager and needs constant supervision over her homework and Ben is never around - if he is not a work he is out on his bike and appears to be having a midlife crisis. When he gets offered a one off job for a week in Eritrea Ben jumps at the chance but Alice is not happy, her parents were killed in a car crash and she likes to keep her family close, so when he goes her worst fears are realised when she gets a phone call from the foreign office to say he has been killed by a landmine. Two years later she has moved on, met Dan, fallen in love and has just got engaged to him when she gets another phone call from the foreign office to say that he is alive and on his way home. This is a great book - Alice is in turmoil does she still love Ben or can she leave him and marry Dan - the children obviously want her to stay with Ben but can she ever get the feelings that she had for him back when all she wants is Dan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Never having read anything by this author meant I really wasn't sure what I'd find when I started this book. I found a brilliantly written book about life, love and finding out what you really want. Ben and Alice along with their two girls Jools and Holly are a happy family. Ben is a surgeon and Alice a GP. They have a good solid life except for the fact that Ben is running headlong into a midlife crisis. Everything is so safe and boring and he needs something extra, a thrill. That thrill costs th Never having read anything by this author meant I really wasn't sure what I'd find when I started this book. I found a brilliantly written book about life, love and finding out what you really want. Ben and Alice along with their two girls Jools and Holly are a happy family. Ben is a surgeon and Alice a GP. They have a good solid life except for the fact that Ben is running headlong into a midlife crisis. Everything is so safe and boring and he needs something extra, a thrill. That thrill costs them everything...this book takes you through the darkest days of despair and tragedy told by each one of them as they see it, how they feel. People change, can they change back to the way they were? Thoroughly absorbing and beautifully written, full of emotion it made me laugh and cry With thanks to Net Galley for allowing me to read this book in return for an honest review

  22. 4 out of 5

    chippyvale

    I'm a fan of Moriarty's, having read some of her previous works. But for her newest publication, I can't quite put my finger to it but there's something which felt off. The idea was great but the execution could be better...? Alice's relationship with Dan felt bizarre; it's like the author decided to use Dan as a filler before Alice had the second shock of her life. But I am not put off from reading Moriarty's subsequent works though! I love her acerbic humour reflected in her writings. :) I'm a fan of Moriarty's, having read some of her previous works. But for her newest publication, I can't quite put my finger to it but there's something which felt off. The idea was great but the execution could be better...? Alice's relationship with Dan felt bizarre; it's like the author decided to use Dan as a filler before Alice had the second shock of her life. But I am not put off from reading Moriarty's subsequent works though! I love her acerbic humour reflected in her writings. :)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Abby Lewis

    Goodreads win. What a brilliant book! I'm glad I won it. Told from different characters in third and first person. I would have loved Jools part of the story as well... But seeing her in other people's eyes is just as good. Would recommend this book to anyone, a bit of a romance, but with realism and heartbreak and drama too! Loved it! Goodreads win. What a brilliant book! I'm glad I won it. Told from different characters in third and first person. I would have loved Jools part of the story as well... But seeing her in other people's eyes is just as good. Would recommend this book to anyone, a bit of a romance, but with realism and heartbreak and drama too! Loved it!

  24. 5 out of 5

    ☘Tara Sheehan☘

    Sinéad Moriarty was described to me once as the Irish female version of Nicholas Sparks and I’d have to say that seems fairly accurate as she has this ability to write novels centered on love, family and relationships that pull at the heartstrings. This one was broken up into multiple parts with chapters from different characters point of views and although that sounds as if it could be confusing and take away from the story how she handled it actually made the story very easy to follow. Moriarty Sinéad Moriarty was described to me once as the Irish female version of Nicholas Sparks and I’d have to say that seems fairly accurate as she has this ability to write novels centered on love, family and relationships that pull at the heartstrings. This one was broken up into multiple parts with chapters from different characters point of views and although that sounds as if it could be confusing and take away from the story how she handled it actually made the story very easy to follow. Moriarty definitely knows how to write the emotional spectrum of issues and for the most part accurately portray what someone would go through along with realistic behavior as a result of these intense situations. As a parent of daughters it was hard at times reading anything to do with the Jools character because she was such a brat who came off abusive towards her sister and mother while worshipping her father as someone who could do no wrong. I often had to remind myself she was a teenager and that can be par for the course as we all know how selfish and self-centered teens can be but still at times I couldn’t help thinking that some stronger parenting might curb her thinking talking to her mother and sister the way she does is not appropriate. The scene that was most cringe worthy for me was the first time Alice and her husband had sex when he returned. The way she described it, how Alice felt, was almost like she was being raped. I know that is incredibly strong but here’s Alice essentially being forced to have sex that she didn’t seem to want but felt forced to have simply because it was her husband. I get why she would have her do it because if your husband has been gone for 2 years and misses having sex with his wife it’s only natural he’d want to and if the situation with Alice was different and she had been pining for him those 2 years I’m sure how she would’ve reacted would’ve been different. BUT in this scene, how it was set up and where these 2 characters were in this particular moment of their lives – it was tough and that theme kept get portrayed for quite some time. I’m not saying the author did anything wrong, on the contrary I believe in a real situation this very well could be accurate. It’s a testament to her writing that she could create such a strong emotional reaction to one of her scenes. My only true negative that I felt needed to be rethought in how it was written was the handling of Jools mental health issues was handled as I felt it was too quickly mentioned and blown off what she was doing to herself. This is a huge issue particularly in current society and I felt the way it was written made it seem like just because she allegedly stopped meant what she had been doing was no big deal now. Both parents seemed overly wrapped up in their own issues which is why they didn’t pursue this and they had long established giving into her rather than use stricter parenting methods. Something like this can appear to stop but once someone uses this as a coping mechanism the odds they will return to it without proper therapy is extremely high. This was my first book to read by her even though she’s now written more than 10 but it was good enough I’m curious to see how her others one are so I’m adding her to my list of authors to check out.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Houllis

    I picked up this book from my local library and began reading it. As I began to read the story of Alice, her husband Ben, daughters Jools 15 years old and Holly 11 years living in London. Alice is a GP and Ben a surgeon. They have been married 22 years when Ben dies in Africa and Alice has to pick up her life and start again. Alice tries to be a good mother to her daughters Jools struggles at school and Ben was the only one who had the patience to sit with her. Holly is bright intelligent for he I picked up this book from my local library and began reading it. As I began to read the story of Alice, her husband Ben, daughters Jools 15 years old and Holly 11 years living in London. Alice is a GP and Ben a surgeon. They have been married 22 years when Ben dies in Africa and Alice has to pick up her life and start again. Alice tries to be a good mother to her daughters Jools struggles at school and Ben was the only one who had the patience to sit with her. Holly is bright intelligent for her age. Alice's parent's died years earlier she has a younger brother Kevin who helps her move on without Ben. The Story begins after Ben death Alice is at her engagement Party at Dan's her new partner's house with her family when she receives a call from Foreign Affairs that someone wants to talk her and then Ben Says hello. Snead then takes back to two years before Ben died. We get to go through their life before. Alice happy been a GP raising her girls but worries of Jools learning. Ben is yearning for adventure something to challenge as he talks of with his friend David also a doctor who tells him of his feelings about this as he had an affair and nearly lost his marriage to Pippa. When a colleague rings him of doing surgery in Africa and he agrees to go with another doctor without discussing it with Alice she begs him not go but he replied he will stay safe and take her to Paris when he gets back. Ben and Delcan the registrar from Ireland that goes with him a kidnap with militant fighters to help heal their soldiers and people their car is bombed to make look like they died. Sinead Moriarty takes us over the two years of emotions of Ben holding it together while doing surgeries, being chained with Declan trying to keep them both alive to find a way back to his family. Meanwhile, Kevin Alice's gay brother helps keep his sister going after Ben's death of her going back to work, caring for her daughters and slowly finding happiness again through David and Pippa's neighbour Dan a wealthy businessman. We also get Holly's point of view where she talks herself, sister self-harming, mother, father and other characters. When Ben finally escapes and returns home to his family he finds it hard to adjust and suffers PSTD and has nightmares and now smokes, where Alice hides the fact she is engaged to another man from Ben as she feels she owes it to her family to try even though she loves Dan as well. We See Alice, and Ben struggle with their feelings not only for each other but for their family to stay together. As Ben senses, something is not with Alice and his relationship. When learns of Dan he tries to fight for her love again by making a book of memories including letters they wrote to each other. Alice one after his death and Ben's one while away. Sinead Moriarty's book The way we were I highly recommend to anyone looking for a good read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Sinéad Moriarty has done it once again with her novel, The Way We Were. This is an author that perfectly, and often painfully, tells a story about the ups and downs of everyday life. Her stories are always realistic, and are often heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. The focus of The Way We Were is family, marriage, and all that entails. Ben and Alice live in London, and have two teenage daughters, Jools and Holly. They have a marriage like many others...they go to work (both are doc Sinéad Moriarty has done it once again with her novel, The Way We Were. This is an author that perfectly, and often painfully, tells a story about the ups and downs of everyday life. Her stories are always realistic, and are often heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. The focus of The Way We Were is family, marriage, and all that entails. Ben and Alice live in London, and have two teenage daughters, Jools and Holly. They have a marriage like many others...they go to work (both are doctors) and spend their spare time with their children, often forgetting to take time for one another. Alice is a devoted wife, and content with her routine life. Ben, on the other hand, always seems to want more, and is looking for a way to break that routine his life has become. This leads to Ben taking a humanitarian trip to Africa...a trip Alice pleads against. Alice later receives a call that Ben died (the reader knows that he was actually captured), and life as she knew it quickly falls apart. Summoning up strength she didn't even know she had, she does her best to help the girls through their grief. Slowly, they all begin to rebuild their lives, and Alice eventually meets another man, Dan. Dan has been a blessing in Alice's life, and friendship soon turns to love. On the eve of their engagement party, she receives a call that Ben is still alive. The story that unfolds is powerful, heartbreaking and heartfelt. How much is one family expected to deal with? Alice, however, never loses her inner strength, and keeps trying to move forward. In addition to the story with Ben and Dan, there is also the story of Jools and Holly. Both girls have been deeply affected by everything, and that makes for some difficult and challenging times. This is an author that writes from the heart...and you will feel for the characters as if you know them personally. She brilliantly evokes a wide range of raw emotions throughout....joy, pain, love, loss, tears and laughter. Overall, this is a beautifully crafted and perfectly paced story about family, love, loss, hope and courage. It has strong and well developed characters portrayed through a storyline that is believable. From the first page until the very last, it will hold you captive...so much so that I read it from cover to cover in one sitting. I hope you give The Way We Were a chance...you will not be disappointed! I would like to thank Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this book. My views are my own and are in no way influenced by anyone else.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Agi

    The storyline of "The Way We Were" is a little unusual, and I haven't expected it at all (no, I haven't read synopsis. It is Sinead Moriarty's book - I don't need to read synopsis to know that I am for a real treat, no matter what the book is about!). Why unusual, you may ask? Well, it has a dual location, and the second of them is in Eritrea - I haven't read any books set in Eritrea before. What took the characters there? Well, Alice and Ben are married, both doctors, Alice a GP and Ben a surge The storyline of "The Way We Were" is a little unusual, and I haven't expected it at all (no, I haven't read synopsis. It is Sinead Moriarty's book - I don't need to read synopsis to know that I am for a real treat, no matter what the book is about!). Why unusual, you may ask? Well, it has a dual location, and the second of them is in Eritrea - I haven't read any books set in Eritrea before. What took the characters there? Well, Alice and Ben are married, both doctors, Alice a GP and Ben a surgeon, living a cosy life with their two daughters, Jools and Holly. Their life consists of going to work and taking care of the girls, which mostly means having battles with Jools over her homework, while Holly was a little genius. Their relationship is stable and sturdy and while Alice wishes that Ben came home right after the work instead of going cycling, Ben feels a little constricted and misses adventure, so he signs for a humanitarian trip to Eritrea, though he never thinks that this trip will ever take place. But yes, it happens, and despite Alice pleading with him not to go, he goes ahead. He should be back home after a short time but he never returns... Fast forward, and Alice and the girls have built themselves a new life. Alice is to be engaged when she gets a phone call that is - again - going to change their whole lives... Can they be happy with a reunion that they were hoping for so long? And what happens when you stop hoping...? Whatever we want to say about the book, those are the characters that just make it. We can like or dislike them, but they are brilliant, three - dimensional characters. At the first sight Alice can seem like a typical woman, juggling home and her work, but there was so much more to her than meets the eye. She was not perfect, she was not flawless, but this is what made her so realistic in my eyes. She had better and worse moments, and she felt so realistic in all her feelings, and I am really impressed how well the author captured all of these feelings. At the beginning I though I will never warm to Jools, but in the end I have totally adored her. She was a handful and yes, her role models were the Kardashians, and some of her one - liners and word - twisting made me roll my eyes, but in a positive way. Though I had a moment that I didn't like her, and it was when she tried to force her mother into making a decision that she, Jools, thought the best, but altogether she was brilliantly written, the author has wonderfully captured the way a teenager is. She and Holly were like chalk and cheese, and where Jools made me laugh, Holly mostly broke my heart with her perceiving the world and the whole situation. The chapters told from her point of view were mostly heartbreaking, and they made me wonder more than once how mature she is but how much of a child there is in her, and how much it costs her to come to terms with the situation and its consequences. But my favourite character was absolutely Kevin, Alice's brother. No matter what happened, he was there for her, supporting her every step and decision, even if he didn't agree with her. He was gay, and he couldn't be more clichéd, but in a good way, and I would love to have such a brother any time (impossible. Have a married sister). He always knew the right word and he was a champion of lightening the mood. Let's also not forget Nora, the housekeeper, with her wisdoms - she was brilliant, a great addition to the family and the story, and even though only a background character, I can't imagine this book without her. And last but not least, Declan, the tempered Declan - he and he and Ben were in fact complementary. Declan had a great sense of humour and he had a great family and I think I fell a little in love with him. And with his family as well. Though I had my five minutes when I stopped liking him, when he felt that he should tell Alice how she should live and what she should do. But it was only a moment and then I loved him again. So there. I was a little conflicted about Dan, to be honest, he was so full of himself and he pushed Alice so much, I was scared that he might have turn into a bully or something like this. Loved Stella, though, she was a great person. I also liked how the book is told in the third person Alice and Ben's point of view, but the most heartbreaking moments were the chapters told in the first person by Holly - they were so touching and moving and it is amazing how well and deep the author was able to get into Holly's head. Ms Moriarty has truly greatly dealt with the complexity of the situation and the plot. She didn't allow her character to wallow in self - pity and to become melancholic or depressed - sure, they had moments of weakness, who wouldn't have, but she kept them strong and going. And even though the book deals with really difficult issues, there is no overwhelming feeling of sadness or drama. No, it is full of really humorous scenes, especially with Kevin or the tales from Alice's practice, and it makes for a great read. However, I couldn't shake off the feeling that the story is a little too one - dimensional and not as complex as I'd like from such a great author. I can't put my finger directly on what it was that I'm missing, but everything felt so smooth in this story, and oh my god, of course, it was a tragedy, but nevertheless it all seemed just so easy. The things didn't cross over, weren't so explored as I'd like them to be and the book has really gained pace in the last 30% of it. But on the other hand nothing was obvious in this story and it really kept me guessing till the end. I also didn't know how it should end for me, I didn't enjoy how much under the gun Alice was put, especially by Jools, in those moments I thought that Jools is much too selfish and she should not butt in, shouldn't interfere and let her mother make her own decision, but really, I didn't know what would be better. I was mostly thinking that there can't be a happy end, and I would really like to see a sequel to "The Way We were" to see what Alice does with her new life. The book was well - paced, and the scenes in Eritrea were gripping and dangerous. This novel was greatly written, had very well drawn characters, was really thoroughly researched and it was not predictable, and also not the easy one, as there were many heartbreaking decisions to be made. I wouldn't like to be in the characters' shoes, to be honest, wouldn't like to be faced with the same dilemmas. Altogether, it was a great read about a family put to a test - a test in love and hope and new beginnings. A book with great characters and a very unique plot - highly recommended. Copy provided by the publisher in exchnage for a review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Beth H

    This is a new author to me and I was happy to get an advanced copy to read. Alice & Ben have a typical marriage with two teenage girls when Ben decides to up the adventure in his life and spend a week in Eritrea performing a surgery and training other doctors. Alice and her girls find their lives shattered when Ben is killed in a land mine explosion. They struggle through their grief, and Alice eventually finds love again. However, she is shocked to learn shortly after her engagement that Ben is This is a new author to me and I was happy to get an advanced copy to read. Alice & Ben have a typical marriage with two teenage girls when Ben decides to up the adventure in his life and spend a week in Eritrea performing a surgery and training other doctors. Alice and her girls find their lives shattered when Ben is killed in a land mine explosion. They struggle through their grief, and Alice eventually finds love again. However, she is shocked to learn shortly after her engagement that Ben is actually still alive and headed back home to her. The first 2/3 of this book were fast paced. I appreciated the two perspectives of Alice at home and Ben's experience in Eritrea. The story got tense as I wondered how Alice would react and what she would decide once Ben was back. I thought that the last third of the book lacked a little of the same pace and attention-grabbing writing, but I still enjoyed the book and following the journey of Alice and her decision.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This is the story of a happy family: Alice, her husband Ben, and their daughters Jools and Holly. They have a great life until Ben unexpectedly dies, leaving the family devastated, however things aren't all as they seem. This book is about love, motherhood, family and bereavement, along with a number of twists and turns, as the family members try to cope with their situations (I won't give any spoilers). I really like that it has sections written from the perspectives of each of the main characte This is the story of a happy family: Alice, her husband Ben, and their daughters Jools and Holly. They have a great life until Ben unexpectedly dies, leaving the family devastated, however things aren't all as they seem. This book is about love, motherhood, family and bereavement, along with a number of twists and turns, as the family members try to cope with their situations (I won't give any spoilers). I really like that it has sections written from the perspectives of each of the main characters. I listened to the audiobook and, at 13 hours and 11 minutes long, it was longer than a typical audiobook. Despite the length, it was well written and engaging throughout. I'd recommend this book and it would make a great holiday read. Content warning: it includes mentions of death, kidnap, violence, medical treatments and self-harm.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lori Boyd

    Thanks to Penguin/Net Galley for this book for me to review and offer my honest review. First book I've read by this author ... won't be my last. A modern day story about Alice and Ben, happily married doctors. One is totally content with their life the way it is, one craving a little adventure. This story follow the adventure of one that turns into a nightmare for all. Loved the cast of characters, and the story being told by different characters. All characters are totally relatable, and situat Thanks to Penguin/Net Galley for this book for me to review and offer my honest review. First book I've read by this author ... won't be my last. A modern day story about Alice and Ben, happily married doctors. One is totally content with their life the way it is, one craving a little adventure. This story follow the adventure of one that turns into a nightmare for all. Loved the cast of characters, and the story being told by different characters. All characters are totally relatable, and situations are current. This book held my interest from the first page to the last. A beautifully written love story about the challenges of marriage and family and the importances of working together.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.