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Westway Private is not a place that Raymond Dubois cares to remember. The rundown neighbourhood was the size of a postage stamp with too many small rental homes crammed together, the lawns were mostly dirt, everyone heard everyone’s business, and his sister almost died there.
The only good thing about Westway Private was Dorothy Nightingale. But she moved away when he was thirteen and he hasn’t seen her since.
Now retired, Raymond just wants to live his remaining years in peace. But when a young couple move in next door, he quickly notices that something isn’t quite right with the husband. The guy drives a BMW, wears expensive suits, but there’s something behind the façade that awakens a past Raymond tried hard to forget.
Dorothy Nightingale just signed her divorce papers, she’s selling the family home, and her kids opted to live with Dad. All her life, Dorothy made sure she was the perfect mom; she wasn’t going to make the same mistakes her mother made.
Except that she did.
Dorothy needs to fix things with her kids before it’s too late . . . but then tragedy strikes and she finds that her future lies in the pain of her past.
The Hope of Times to Come digs into the scars that shaped our childhood to find the strength we never realized we had, and unleashes the truth we must face to set us free.
Loved it! 😍
This was a heartfelt family drama about grief, loss, forgiveness, and finding the strength to survive and thrive.
It is a story of second chance romance, but so much more — there are mystery/thriller elements, as well as heart-wrenching abuse in the childhood trauma of each of the two main characters. Both characters are fully developed, and we get to see each of their lives’ journeys after they separated as children: the slow crumble of Dorothy’s marriage as the wayward children eventually built a wedge between her and her husband, and Raymond’s former relationship that ended in tragedy, as well as his allegiance to his disabled sister until her death.
I loved how they took their time to find each other again, each carrying their own baggage, and I appreciated the friendships they each had — particularly Raymond, who began helping his neighbour Joanne as he felt inexplicably drawn into her fraught relationship with her partner. All the relationships were beautifully described and you can feel the emotion in each separate story, as well as the elation when Raymond and Dorothy do finally reconnect and find that there are still deep feelings there — and maybe there is still even a spark.
Though I enjoyed the novel, this is a very slow-burn of a story — it’s worth it to get all the way there, but it is not for readers without patience! Also, it did take me some time to get used to the storytelling style that mixes Raymond in first person and then Dorothy in third person (it may have worked better for me with both first person, or both third person) but this may be my own pet peeve! Nevertheless the writing was excellent, and I’m glad I kept on reading to finally understand all the connections between the characters. However, there are two main threads that weave Raymond’s and Dorothy’s stories together, and I wished that one of the main points in the last chapter was revealed in the “present” timeline rather than referred to in the past tense — this was a disappointment as I’d been waiting to see it happen!
Nevertheless, overall this was an enjoyable story that will lift your spirits, and I would recommend for readers who appreciate authors similar to Nicholas Sparks. It takes you on an emotional journey as you get to know these characters, all of whom feel very real — their pain, their anguish, their failures in life, and yet their indomitable spirit to build a family with each other out of the ashes of dysfunction. The lasting message here is that it is never too late to find happiness — and that happiness lies in the people you love, above all else. I look forward to more by this author.
Sacha T. Y. Fortuné – ReedsyDiscovery