I have finished at least half of the Jojo Moyes’s books that I’ve read in under 48 hours. This one took me six days. That probably tells you everything you need to know.
In the 1960s, wild child Athene Forster was called the “Last Deb” — the last of the young, monied women expected to present themselves to society and marry well. Athene selects Douglas Fairley-Hulme — which comes at quite a blow to Vivian, who’s head over heels in love with him — gets married, and totally fails to settle down. She takes off with a salesman at some point, leaving Douglas with a young child. Years later, that child — Suzanna Peacock — has returned to her hometown with her husband and opens the Peacock Emporium in an effort to find something to call her own.
This is one of those books where you keep reading it to find out the answer to one question — in this case, what really happened when Athene ran off? — only to get to the end and feel like it was all a bit of a waste of time. The story isn’t bad, necessarily, but the big reveal lack that Moyes flair in her later books.