Marianne Baker is happy. Sort of.
She’s worked at the same job for years (nearly 15, but who’s counting), she lives at home with her mum (who is driving her crazy) and sleeps in a single bed (yep, her love life is stalled). Playing the violin is her only real passion – but nobody like her does that for a living.
Then one night everything changes.
The father who abandoned Marianne over twenty years ago turns up on her doorstep, with a dark secret that changes her life forever.
Suddenly Marianne’s safe, comfortable world is shattered. If her father isn’t the man she thought he was, then who is he? And, more to the point, who is she?
It’s time to find out who the real Marianne Baker is.
Firstly thank you to Cara at Harelquin for sending me a copy of this title for review. I’ve been a fan of Jemma’s since I read Me and Miss M. When Cara asked if I’d be interested in a review copy of her new novel I knew I would jump at the chance. Find it on Amazon here.
When I Met You is all about main character Marianne Baker. Marianne feels like her life is in a bit of a rut but that’s all shaken up with the reappearance of her father who has been absent for more than 20 years.
The prologue really jumps on in there with the return of Ray, Marianne’s dad, injecting excitement and mystery from the outset. The narrative then flicks back a few hours and carries on from there. By going back in time for a few hours we get to know Marianne on her own, get to understand her character a little bit and get inside her head before her life basically implodes all around her.
I found Marianne easy to empathise with from the beginning of the story. Her dry sarcasm and quick witted reactions are funny and have you laughing and smiling from that very first page. At first I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I was concerned for Marianne as I had quickly got on her side and didn’t want her to be hurt.
The story is gripping as Marianne and her dad get to know each other. It’s poignant and emotional and reminds you that life is too short. The story deals with loss but Jemma has tackled the issues in such a way that you feel emotionally invested in what felt like a very realistic story.
Have your tissues at the ready as Jemma takes you on a journey of a family facing tough struggles but ultimately uniting.