Maintaining the likeable, entertaining characters that bounced off the page in CLW, the author adds many more at both ends of the age spectrum (no plot spoilers here!) Spanning more generations adds new dimensions and depth to the pacy plot. It also provides great opportunities for brilliant throw-away lines.
There are enormously touching moments, too, especially in the portrayal of the complex relationships between Stella the heroine, her daughter Lipsy, her parents and the old people in her place of work. The author manipulates this bigger cast with deftness, subtlety and assurance. She appears to know instinctively how to debunk any potential sentimentality or mawkishness by dropping in a laugh-out-loud aside or an unexpected plot twist. She is a writer with great sleight of hand.
A warm, engaging novel which will compound Phillips’ growing reputation as an assured and compassionate novelist who knows exactly how to work her audience. Slick, accomplished comfort reading, hugely satisfying for women of any age. The book equivalent of a bar of Galaxy chocolate.
Find more about Joanne and her ever-growing catalogue of books on her author website, www.joannephillips.co.uk.