About the book
Thirteen years ago Amy Crane ran away from everyone and everything she knew, ending up in an unfamiliar city with no obvious past and no idea of her future. Now, though, that past has just arrived on her doorstep, in the shape of an old music cassette that Amy hasn’t seen since she was at university.
Digging out her long-neglected Walkman, Amy listens to the lyrics that soundtracked her student days. As long-buried memories are wrenched from the places in her mind where she’s kept them safely locked away for over a decade, Amy is suddenly tired of hiding.
It’s time to confront everything about her life. Time to find all the friends she left behind in England, when her heart got broken and the life she was building for herself got completely shattered. Time to make sense of all the feelings she’s been bottling up for all this time. And most of all, it’s time to discover why Jack has sent her tape back to her now, after all these years…
With her mantra, New life, New job, New home, playing on a continuous loop in her head, Amy gears herself up with yet another a bucket-sized cup of coffee, as she goes forth to lay the ghost of first love to rest…
Published by Accent Press
An ode to mix tapes! Oh how I miss them!! And in this book it just shows you how the power of a song from way back when can stir up the emotions and set you on a different path when you least expect it!
And this is what happens to Amy who is in her mid thirties, living in Scotland, feeling lonely, stuck in a dull job with no local friends, until she receives a mix tape from her old friend Jack, who she’d not heard from in years. And it just makes her look back on her time with him and their other friends and has her wondering ‘what if’.
And so she moves down South to see if her she can find her happy place again, reconnect with old friends and find out what she’s been missing out on. It’s a scary move for her but something she needs to do and soon finds friends and old feelings are difficult to shake off.
We also get to see the story from the point of view of Jack, who has recently come out but has always seemed to struggle with his sexuality. And his friendship with Kit, a wife and mother who writes steamy erotic fiction, is also another complex aspect of his life.
There are a number of characters in this book who annoyed the heck out of me at times, but that made it feel more relatable! Not everyone is going to be ‘your cup of tea (or coffee!)’, and they will often do things that annoy your or perplex you, but it’s their decision and you can only be there to pick up the pieces or support them whatever they decide to do. It brings into focus the fact that many people are unhappy with how their lives are turning out, they just go with the flow until it is often too late and it takes a big leap of faith to change things and to try and get more out of life – be that changing jobs or trying to reconnect with old friends.
I loved the mix of personalities of this group of friends – they don’t live in each others’ pockets, it’s not all rainbows and laughs, but when faced with a drama they are there to support those who need it no matter what. Many of them have very jealous personalities which can come across as quite petty at times, but that mirrors real life! Nobody’s perfect…. are they?! The timeline also jumps around quite a bit which does keep you on your toes!
The songs mentioned throughout were a great blend and often had me grabbing an old CD or looking online to listen to them again as it really helped connect more with the story! An engaging and grown up piece of fiction.