Alice & Jean

I could not put this wonderful book down until I had savoured the last page.  Lily Hammond has written a beautiful love story, full of high emotion and unbearable tension.  Alice is a war widow with two children in 1946 New Zealand, just getting by, while her monstrous mother, Geraldine, lives in a big house in town with plenty of money.  Her mother tries to control her life but Alice is a strong woman with a mind of her own.  When she falls in love with Jean, the local ‘milkman’, things become fraught with tension and danger.  Although some people are willing to live and let live, Geraldine is not and is determined to try and reign in her daughter.  Local town bully Big Jim thinks he has a claim on Alice and is not going to back off.  The level of threat the two women face is immense and I really felt scared for them.  Their relationship is tender and passionate and meant to be and I could not imagine anyone reading this book failing to fall in love with them.  Lily Hammond transported me to another world, in another time and it was mesmerising.  

I was given this ARC free by Netgalley and Sapphica Books in return for an honest review.

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