The right words can change everything . . .
It had been a make-or-break Winter holiday for their marriage, but Natasha and Rob’s rekindled romance is short-lived when their daughter’s beloved soft toy disappears on the journey home. As Natasha comforts her distraught child, she turns to social media for help. Miraculously, the toy is found, but it has become the lucky mascot of a man named Duffy, who is thousands of miles away trekking in Nepal.
When Duffy promises to keep Natasha updated with pictures, a correspondence begins that soon becomes more meaningful. Sometimes, Natasha feels this stranger half way across the world understands her more than the man lying next to her.
But as the weeks pass and Duffy heads deeper into the mountains, Natasha notices a change in him. Then one day, the messages stop. Too late, Natasha wonders why he had ever needed a lucky mascot at all.
The title and first few chapters of this book suggest an easy read, romantic, contemporary story but once Duffy was introduced travelling to Nepal to trek in the mountains, I couldn’t predict what was going to happen. He seems to be running away from friends and family with a careless attitude to his own well-being. The heroine, Natasha, however, is a likeable, kind, young mother with a cute daughter and apparently perfect marriage. But of course it isn’t perfect; her wealthy husband enables her to stay at home with 3 year old, Mable, in their luxury home and she longs for another child.
In flashbacks we see Natasha had serious doubts about her marriage to a man 10 years older than her and recently she has questioned why he works away from home so frequently. In the meantime, she has to solve the disappearance of her daughter’s best-loved toy and that leads to a correspondence with Duffy, from the other side of the world.
While we are intrigued by what exactly Rob is up to, he certainly seems to care for Natasha a great deal and she is maturing, striking out to establish an independent career. But concern for Duffy increases. The plot depends on coincidence and serendipity, but I didn’t mind that at all and I found the chapters in Nepal fascinating in their details of the hazards of mountain climbing contrasting with the awe and the beauty. Definitely a worthwhile read, even if I did start to pick up clues as to what might have happened but only in the last quarter of the book.
The Christmas Postcards on Amazon UK
My Review of The Last Summer by Karen Swan