Title: All I Ever Wanted (2016)
Author: Lucy Dillon
Genre: Fiction, Womens Fiction, Contemporary and Romance
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Release Date: 1st December 2016
Nancy is four, nearly five. She talks all the time: in the car, on the way to nursery, to her extrovert older brother, to her collection of bears. But then, one February morning, everything changes. Nancy’s mum and dad split up. Her father Patrick moves away from their Bristol home to Newcastle. And Nancy stops talking.
Eva is forty-four, nearly forty-five. She didn’t expect to be the third wife of a much-loved household name, but eight years ago, she and semi-retired bad boy Michael Quinn fell in love. Eva knew marrying a much older man meant compromises, but it was the love of a lifetime for them both – until Mickey dies suddenly, leaving Eva alone with his gossipy diaries, their two pugs, and a distressing voice in the back of her mind, wondering if perhaps she’s sacrificed more than she meant to.
I had never read any of Lucy Dillon’s work before I picked this one up and I’ll be sure to read more of her books now. I certainly went though a lot of emotions whilst reading this book. It is a calming story about a family going through a rough patch in their lives.
At first I thought this story would follow Caitlin and Patrick’s life but it is through Caitlin that we learn about Eva, who is Patrick’s older sister. This was an unexpected bonus for me. This really made the story more complex and interesting by adding layers and depth.
What Lucy Dillon does perfectly in this story is she doesn’t let the reader feel pity or anger with one particular character for a long time. She quickly changes tracks making the readers opinion change too. At first I really didn’t like Patrick because of how patronising he was but later on in the book I did change my opinion of him. I liked Caitlin’s character as even though she was going through a really hard time in her life she kept going. My favourite character was Eva, I instantly got caught up in her story and her feelings.
Each of Lucy Dillon’s characters have deep and complex personalities. Nancy reminded me of my younger sister when she was Nancy’s age. Always talking, singing and laughing. I really couldn’t imagine if my younger sister stopped talking altogether. Nancy’s story is a heart-breaking one. I saw a little of myself in Joel with how clumsy he is which is just like me.
This book touches on so many issues, divorce, anxiety, hiding your secrets and the biggest issue being family life. This book definitely approaches all of these issues incredibly.
This book is a slow burner though. Due to this I felt uncertain about it at the beginning. I didn’t think the book was for me as I usually like fast-paced books. But as the story slowly developed I got into it a whole lot more. Although it is a slow burner it has to be this way in order to have the many layers it has to slowly peel off.
Overall, I would recommend this books to anyone who wants a fiction story that tackles a lot of issues and wants to read a heartwarming story. I will definitely be reading more Lucy Dillon books in the future.
Thank to Lucy Dillon, Hodder Paperbooks and Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Until next time,