Thursday, 24 November 2016

Never Coming Back by Deirdre Palmer





About Never Coming Back

Your best friend dies. All because of you. How do you go on?

Layla is struggling to come to terms with the death of her best friend, Danni, at a student party almost a year ago. Perhaps she never will – because only Layla knows the truth about what happened that night.

Danni’s parents, Melody and Reece, invite Layla for weekend visits to their Sussex farmhouse home, and she’s happy to accept – until Melody’s increasing dependence on her sends out warning signals. Although she knows it’s time to break away, for all their sakes, Layla’s guilt over Danni’s death has her returning, time and again.

When Layla meets Morgan, the connection between them is unmistakable. But until she confronts the past, she can’t face the future, let alone allow herself to fall in love.

There is only one way out: Layla must confess her secret to Danni’s parents. But can she risk breaking their hearts all over again? And will Morgan still love her, once he discovers the kind of person she really is?

It’s the hardest decision. And time is running out…

My review of Never Coming Back
 
Never Coming Back is a stunningly beautiful and captivating read from author, Deirdre Palmer. After reading the blurb I was instantly captivated as I was desperate to know what had happened at that ill fated party. This is the crux of the book, as everything that happens after that is influenced by that night's tragic event. So did I enjoy this book? Yes, in fact I loved it.

Now, this book is not fast paced, but rather a book that should be devoured in tiny pieces. I took my time reading this book over several days. This was for two reasons. The first is that the author packs a lot of detail and definition into this book, that simply cannot be rushed. It is a book, were the small details need to be noted and ingested in order to grasp a true taste and feeing of how the characters are living their lives. This then brings me onto the second point, that of characterisation. This book is very much character driven, although we do have the blaring question of what happened to Layla's Uni friend,  Danni, at the party. It is the characters in this book, primarily Layla, Melody and Morgan, who gel the book together. We read their independent stories and viewpoints and we need to do so slowly.

This book is cleverly written and delves into the very serious issues of grief, loss and guilt. All of these issues are woven into the book that is primarily about finding new love and moving on. But these issues are written with such gentleness and understanding, that I actually felt the emotions that each character went through. I quite literally felt their pain.

We have Layla, the young woman who is riddled with guilt at the death of her friend. This guilt is stopping her from moving on with her life. She is in limbo. She is torn between her past and keeping up a connection and relationship with Danni's parents, and that of moving on with the new man in her life, Morgan. But until the past is resolved and put aside, she is stuck. I loved this character and although she made some pretty bad decisions, I understood why she made them. After all, we are all human and have all made silly mistakes in our past.

Melody, I had a lot of empathy with, and really felt her pain at losing her daughter. How would I feel, or think if anything like that happened to one of my children? It just doesn't bare thinking about, and this is what the author so skilfully portrays. This is a mother wracked with guilt and grief, She is an extremely well rounded character and most importantly , very believable.

Morgan is the romantic interest in this story, with his own path to forge and unique story to tell. and I loved him. This is because he is not your usual romantic hero. He is very much like the 'boy next door'. The man who is striving to be a writer, wanting to live his dream, but not as yet quite finding his feet. I loved him though, for all of his thoughtfulness, his clumsiness, and the fact that he knew instantly that he was in love with Layla. His heart is very much in the right place, and as a proper gentleman, there is no way that you could not fall in love with him.

Never Coming Back is a beautifully written, modern tale of guilty secrets and of how grief effects a family, and the individual.
  
Never Coming Back is published by Crooked Cat Publishing on 8 Dec. 2016. The Amazon link can be found here.

With thanks to the author for an Advanced Reader Copy.


About the Author

Deirdre Palmer lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England. Most of her working life has been spent in public sector administration, most recently at the University of Brighton.
She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and belongs to a blog group called ‘The Write Romantics’.

You can find out more about Deirdre Palmer and contact her at:

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