Before I Met You

by Lisa Jewell (Century) ISBN 9781846059230 R170 

Lisa Jewell has a gift. She writes beautifully.  

After her grandmother dies, Betty Dean leaves Guernsey for London to find Clara Pickle, the mysterious beneficiary in Arlette’s will. The novel flips between Arlette’s youth in 1920s bohemian London and Betty Dean’s adventures in Soho in the 1990s. Arlette, a stunning beauty, followed her heart, found a job, found a great love, and lost it all. She returned to Guernsey, settled down, married and never told anyone she had even lived in London. 

Betty also follows her heart, finds a job, stays in a dingy apartment, and is wooed by the wrong sort of man. She is determined to find Clara, and her grandmother’s story unfolds as she pieces together the clues. Betty, who adored her grandmother, finds out how strong her grandmother was, and how important love is. Effortlessly written, and easy-to-read, Before I met you is a guaranteed good summer read. 

Amanda Patterson 

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

The Making of Us

by Lisa Jewell (Century) ISBN: 9781846055744 R215, 00 

Lisa Jewell wrote 31 Dream Street, one of my favourite chick lit novels. The Making of Us begins in a disjointed fashion. I wasn't sure which character was which and I wasn't sure if I wanted to carry on reading. I'm glad I did. 

Daniel is dying in a hospice in Bury St Edmunds. Maggie listens to his life story. He tells her his secret, his 'legacy'. He was a sperm donor and he has three children - Lydia, Dean and Robyn. 

Lydia is damaged, wealthy and successful. She is also lonely and unfulfilled. Robyn always knew she was a sperm donor baby because of family health problems. She is intelligent and studying to be a doctor. She is also losing her motivation and wondering what it's all about. Dean comes from a poor family and his girlfriend is pregnant. 

As the story unfolds, these three lost children find each other and everything changes. Lisa Jewell's strength has always been her superb characterisation. She doesn't disappoint. You will grow to like these people and you will find yourself thinking about them when you've finished the book. 

Amanda Patterson


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