Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Dead to Me by Lesley Pearse

Spring 1935. Two girls meet by chance on Hampstead Heath. To an outsider, they could not appear more different. Verity is well-mannered and smartly dressed, living with her parents in a beautiful house close to the heath. Ruby is dishevelled and grubby, used to a life of squalor where she is forced to steal to survive. Yet there's an instant affinity between them, and when their fortunes are shockingly reversed, it is the strength of their friendship that keeps them resilient to the challenges and hardships they face. 

As Britain prepares for war, Ruby finds herself in Devon with the world at her feet and enjoying her first taste of romance. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, Verity is forced to leave behind everything she has ever known and a shadow from the past threatens her chances of a new beginning. But through it all, the girls are always there for each other. Until the day Verity does the one thing that will break Ruby's heart.

 In a country torn apart by fighting, will Verity and Ruby survive long enough to find a way back to each other? Or do some betrayals go with you to the grave . . .?

I have always enjoyed Lesley Pearse books but when I read Without a Trace Last year that book put the author right up there with my must read authors and so I have been eagerly awaiting her new release Dead to Me so I can throw myself into another one of her books and it was well worth the wait as I would have to say Dead to Me has to be my favourite by Lesley Pearse.

The book is set in the 1930’s 1940’s through WWII. Verity and Ruby come from very different walks of life but after the pair witness a body being pulled from the swimming ponds the pair strike up a bond and are both inquisitive about how the other one lives. A firm friendship is formed and over the years the girls are there for each other through much needed times of support.

Both Ruby and Verity had a troubled childhood and through the years Ruby finds happiness and stability down in Devon but poor Verity finds her past keeps catching up with her. When an incident happens the girls friendship is rocked deeply and Ruby sends Verity a letter saying “You’re Dead to Me”, could this be the end of the girls friendship?

This is one of those books that will bring out each and every emotion as we go on a journey with the girls experiencing things that you would never wish any child to see or experience. At times I was absolutely heartbroken for these two good natured girls but the friendship they found with each other brought an uplifting feel around such dark times.

I warmed to both Ruby and Verity equally and I wanted nothing more than both girls to find their happy ever afters so they can see there is goodness in the world and after what they had seen at a young age they could have quite easily gone down a different path.

Verity seemed to have a vulnerability about her more so than Ruby who managed to dust herself off and start again whereas Verity was broken inside from years of keeping her sickening and heartbreaking secret buried inside herself for so long.

There is something for everyone in this book as it is a story of love and friendship, of life’s challenges and of hideous situations no one should have had to face. There is uncertainty and suspicion but also hope and positivity too. The story is carried by two very strong female characters but is helped along the way with such influential, loving and caring characters too such as Wilby and Miller.

There was such great depth and detail to this storyline it felt like the author was telling someone’s real life story and it is a story that will stay in my mind for a long time. This book deserves nothing less than a 5 star rating and I will be recommending this to all my clients, friends and family.

Hardback                Kindle

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