I'm a sucker for a pretty cover so Since You've Been Gone by Anouska Knight immediately captured my attention. I wish the story had been just as awesome as the sweet cover but it was still an enjoyable read.
Here's the synopsis:
How do you learn to love again?I don't like to reread the synopsis before diving into a new book. I'll have read it before I request it/agree to review it but I like to go back in almost blind because I sometimes find that the synopsis gives too much away (but a heads up...I'm going to be more explicit about the tragedy that's mentioned). So, because it had been awhile between requesting Since You've Been Gone on Goodreads and actually reading it, I forgot how serious it actually is. The cover completely threw me off...as I imagine it would to others, too. This isn't a novel of a bakery owner looking for her Prince Charming and having fun as she goes on dates. This is the novel of a widow. A woman who doesn't think she can ever love again and doesn't plan on finding out if she can.
In one tragic moment, Holly Jefferson's life as she knows it changes for ever. Now to the external world, at least, she's finally getting back on her feet, running her business, Cake. Then she meets Ciaran Argyll.
His rich and charmed life feels a million miles from her own. However, there's more to Ciaran than the superficial world that surrounds him, and he too is wrestling with his own ghosts. Will Holly find the missing ingredient that allows her to live again and embrace an unknown and unexpected tomorrow?
Holly is a pretty tragic character. She's young and already a widow, after just a few months of marriage. I can't imagine how hard that would be to deal with. Luckily, she does have friends and family who are determined to check in on her (I adored her sister but was just as frustrated as Holly when it came to her mother) and make sure she's doing ok. She has a flourishing bakery with an awesome co-worker. But she has a huge hole in her heart. I knew that, in the end, she and Ciaran would end up together. I looked forward to seeing how she would evolve over the course of the novel and learn to move on from her tragedy. Holly really grew as a person. She had a few stumbles but I really liked her (except when she was being extremely judgey about Ciaran's wealth) and reading about her journey.
I found the writing in this novel to be a bit awkward. I don't have any good, concrete examples but the flow seemed to be a bit off and some sentences were just plain odd. When there are enough examples of poor writing (or editing), it tends to turn me off the book. Plus, the beginning is really odd. It's hard to explain but Holly is talking about Charlie not being home and then she wanted to have dreams about him...? It was hard to know for sure that he was dead and I just couldn't figure out when certain things were happening. I understand what the author was trying to do but it just left me confused.
Since You've Been Gone isn't a bad read. I just didn't find it to be an awesome one. I wish I had enjoyed Anouska Knight's novel more. I'll keep an eye on what she publishes next. Maybe you'll like this one more than I did!
*A copy of this novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*