Today I review Messy Wonderful Us by Catherine Isaac. The book is out now in all formats. I reviewed the paperback edition. I gave the book a four star review.
Messy Wonderful Us by Catherine Isaac
In late 1983, a letter arrives from Italy, containing secrets so unthinkable that it is hidden away, apparently forever. More than three decades later, it is found . . . by the last person who was ever supposed to see it.
When Allie opens an envelope in her grandmother’s house, it changes everything she knows about her family – and herself.
With the truth liable to hurt those she loves most, she hires a private detective to find out what happened to her late mother in the summer before Allie was born. Taking leave from her job as a research scientist, she is led to the sun-drenched shores of Lake Garda, accompanied by her best friend Ed.
But the secrets that emerge go far beyond anything they were expecting. Now, Allie must find the courage to confront her family’s tangled past and reshape her own future.
Review by Kelly Lacey
Allie’s world is one filled with love and family. But when she accidentally opens an envelope in her Grandmothers drawer, her whole safe world begins to crumble.
I fell in love with Catherine Isaac’s writing style. It is beautiful, well-paced not to heavy on mushy emotion but just the right amount for you to connect and care about the characters. A terrific story weaver, tentatively giving you the bits of the puzzle to fit together and just when you think you have it solved whooshing you off with a new twist.
At the heart of the book is the affect secrets have on our lives. How many times do we not cause a scene or express our feelings because we wouldn’t want to make a scene or create a fuss? How many opportunities are missed in life because we are taught to have that wall of the face we put out to the world? In the book as well as secrets in her family, Allie has them too. But the angst it brought me as I read the book wondering what would happen was incredible. I could see and feel everything as it played out.
Italy plays a key character in the book and the descriptions were so perfect. Garda is an area I have visited and Catherine Isaac captures it perfectly.
My absolute favourite character was Granny Peggy. It was nice to see the history of the older characters in the book as well as following the younger Allie and Ed on their mission. Seeing life through Peggy in the ’60s was fascinating and heartbreaking.
The copy I read was the paperback edition and it is so fresh and lemony looking. The light sage green and the lemons on the front is a gorgeous and beautiful addition to my bookcase.
Catherine Isaac is a new firm favourite of my must-buy authors.
A talented storyteller with a knack for pulling on the heartstrings.Kelly Lacey
Thank you to Megan Denholm at EDPR for the wonderful opportunity to review the book. All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.
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