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Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Other Half Of My Heart by Stephanie Butland

Title: The Other Half Of My Heart
Author: Stephanie Butland
Publisher: 22 October 2015 by Random House UK, Transworld Publishers
Pages: 368 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: womens fiction, contemporary, drama
My Rating: 4 crowns

“It smelled bittersweetly of sourdough, and there was the trace of hot, fresh bread in the air. She took a deep breath and unlocked the door”

Fifteen years ago Bettina May’s life’s veered off course in one disastrous night. Still reeling from the shock of losing everything she thought was hers, Bettina opens a bakery in a village and throws herself into the comfort of bread-making.

She spends her days kneading dough and measuring ingredients. She meets someone. She begins to heal.

Until someone who knows what happens that night walks into Bettina's bakery. In the pause of a heartbeat, fifteen years disappear and Bettina remembers a time she thought was lost for ever . . .

Can she ever go back?
My Thoughts

"My full name is Bettina May Randolph. When I was a teenager, I called myself Tina. Tina Randolph. I worked at the Flood stable in Missingham. And - something happened, and I've never really got over it."

I was pleasantly surprised with this read, it kept me interested right to the end and was certainly not your usual predictable ending, as there were some surprising twists along the way. The book cover and the title itself lead you to believe this is just another chick-lit type romance, but far from it. It's an emotional, bittersweet tale that delves into all types of relationships and the loves and loses that often come hand in hand with them.

"She's starting to want more ... she feels exposed ... which is the opposite of what she'e been for the last fifteen year. But - the quietest of voices suggests ... maybe it's time".

Bettina's life was forever altered after a terrible accident and she didn't think she could ever move on from it. There are so many varied relationships conveyed throughout this story that a person is bound to make a connection on some level. It's not just the romantic - old and new flames - but also family loyalties, that are tackled in this tale.

"The other half of her mind, that's buzzing like a wasp in an upturned wine glass, she's wondering whether she is just as trapped in the past as her mother is....how much of what she does, she does because of what happened all that time ago".

The book is well written considering that it alternates between Bettina's past when she was known as Tina, to her contemporary life, until the two finally merge. It is realistic and engaging, as Butland cleverly portrays a very poignant story about how life can change in an instant with lasting consequences; and if those involved never fully process it, those pent up emotions can have long term repercussions. 

This is a book to get lost in as it's beautifully written and will take you on an emotional journey. 

"This is wordlessness without waiting, or punishment, or heavy unsaid words".

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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