FICTION//The Things We Need To Say- Rachel Burton*

 

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I’m pleased to be reviewing the follow-up to my friend Rachel’s bestselling novel from last year (The Many Colours of Us). Whereas her last novel had me itching to get my sewing machine out, this one made me search for yoga videos on Youtube.

Fran and Will live a great life: she’s a yoga teacher with her own studio and he’s a high-flying lawyer who plays cricket on the weekend (fun fact: I am legit thanked at the end for helping Rachel with information about what it’s like to be a cricket wife.) They live in a great country house and have a comfortable existence. Except there’s one problem- a huge loss in their lives and the struggle to complete their family hangs over them and colours everything they do. As Fran prepares to fly out to Spain to teach a yoga retreat, she discovers something that may shatter the fragile truce she’s managed to build with Will over the previous few months. Finding herself recovering with friends and face-to-face with an old flame, the question is now- will she return home and face up to their difficulties, or leave for good? And will Will decide to face up to his demons and fight to win Fran back?

This is a novel that explores some difficult topics, but does so sensitively. It’s not always the easiest to read through some of the issues, but I felt that the portrayal of Fran and Will, of the little mundane things that happen as part of a long-term relationship, as well as the huge and explosive stuff was spot on. In a lot  of ways, this is a harder read in terms of emotions than The Many Colours of Us, but it’s one that’s just as rewarding. If you like novels that pull you through the entire gauntlet of emotions, then I think you should definitely keep your eyes peeled for this coming out in May.

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