“Something Beginning With” by Sarah Salway

Verity has been best friends with Sally since they were children, but since Sally started dating a married man, Verity can’t understand why Sally would allow herself to be his mistress, and they hardly see each other any more. Then Verity meets John, a married man with three children …

I loved the style of this book. The author has chosen to write it as an A-Z style glossary, e.g. B is for Baked Beans, and in a couple of paragraphs, she explains what Baked Beans mean to Verity, and at the end, there is a cross-reference to God, Mystery Tours and Noddy. Now you might be thinking, how can this work as a narrative for a story, but it actually works brilliantly. Each entry reveals a little bit more about Verity and her life, and you gradually learn how she became the woman she is, and where her relationships have lead her.

It’s a deceptively simple story of a young woman, but as the tale unfolds, particularly towards the conclusion, you understand how Verity has arrived at this point in her life. The author places hints and clues about Verity throughout the book, and that last few pages I found heartbreaking to read, but I can’t really say more than that without giving anything away.

Although it may appear and first glance to be a light and fluffy chick-lit book, far from it, this is a cleverly constructed and ultimately fulfilling story that really made me think.

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