"The day I lost you Anna, was the day you tore our family apart."
The day that Jess's daughter, Anna, is reported lost in an avalanche is the day that changes everything.
Left to explain her absence to Anna's five-year-old daughter, Rose, Jess isn't yet ready to admit to herself that her daughter might not be coming back. But Anna's disappearance has opened a Pandora's Box of lies and Jess begins to discover that she never really knew her daughter at all.
And when she unearths a secret that could irrevocably change her world and her family, she has to decide whether a mother's love is unconditional - and she can forgive Anna anything.
The Day I Lost You by Fionnuala Kearney was published by Harper in paperback on 22 September 2016 and is the author's second novel. I read and reviewed her first, You, Me and Other People on Random Things in June 2015.
The Day I Lost You is a story of relationships. How they begin, how they evolve and how they can change so quickly and so dramatically through the revelation of a hidden truth.
Jess and Anna; mother and daughter, but also house-mates and the best of friends. When Anna's father Doug left the family to start a new life, Jess and Anna became a solid unit. Even when, at nineteen, in her first year at university, Anna became pregnant with her daughter Rose, her relationship with Jess remained strong. The three of them; Jess, Anna and little Rose, lived happily together. Their extended family; Jess's sister Leah and her husband Guss, Jess's parents and close friends Theo and Harriet completed the unit.
The day that Jess receives the news that Anna is feared dead, buried under an avalanche whilst on a skiing trip in France with work colleagues is the beginning of the slow deterioration of some of these relationships, but also strengthens others.
Jess doesn't only have to deal with her painful grief, she also has to protect little Rose. When she begins to realise that Anna had kept important and painful secrets from her, she starts to question everything about their relationship.
Fionnuala Kearney is a mother, and it shows in her writing. She has captured that all-consuming parental love and expresses it so beautifully on the page. The reader is exposed to every emotion that Jess experiences as the story progesses. Disbelief, horror, anger and confusion; each emotional trauma is perfectly portrayed.
There are other strands to this story, and at its heart is a mystery that Jess never expected and that slowly unfurls before the author serves up the shocking conclusion.
Jess and Rose are supported throughout the novel by a cast of creatively drawn characters who each have their own story to add to the mix.
Fionnuala Kearney has written another complex story of relationships. Her writing is astute, warm and polished. The plot is compelling and the characters are magnificent.
Accomplished and powerful, this author really is very very talented.
My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy of The Day I Lost You for review.
Fionnuala Kearney lives in Ascot with her husband. They have two grown-up daughters (both with deliberately simple monosyllabic names).
One of seven children, Fionnuala likes to write about the nuances and subtle layers of human relationships, peeling them away to see what's really going on beneath.
For more information visit www.fionnualakearney.com
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Follow her on Twitter @fionnualatweets