Book Review: The Anniversary by Hilary Boyd (Blog Tour) #BookReview #BlogTour #TheAnniversary

I am so honoured to take part in this blog tour.

I really liked this book and I’d like to thank Jenny Platt from Penguin Random House UK, for giving me this opportunity.

About the book:

A deeply emotional new novel from the bestselling author of Thursdays in the Park

Is the one you tried to forget the one you can’t live without? 

Stella once thought that if she never saw Jack again, it would be too soon.

But life has other plans for her and her stubborn, handsome ex-husband.

Looking after their daughter in a time of need, Stella finds herself unwillingly reunited with the man she shared the best years of her life with – followed by the worst.

Where tragedy once tore them apart, now Stella and Jack are being drawn back together. But each of them has a new partner and a new life.

Should they fight temptation?

Should the past remain the past?

Or are some loves simply meant to be?

My Review:

Trigger warning: This book talks about child loss.

Going into The Anniversary I had no idea what to expect.
The premise was interesting as it explores the topic I am not familiar with, but at the same time I had no idea how I would react to everything that was about to happen’ in the story.

You see, reading is a subjective action, and the way one reacts to the story can be totally different from the way the other one would.

The Anniversary was a really good read that talks about so many difficult situations in life, and I appreciate it because of that.
Lately I like stories that talk about life, people and different situations that people find themselves in, and all the different ways people react in certain situations.
The Anniversary is that kind of the story.

It follows two main characters, Stella and Jack, who were married once, but they couldn’t get over the tragedy that happened to them so they separated. Twenty years later, they find themselves under the same roof, helping their daughter with her son while she’s expecting another child.
Spending time together plays with their emotions and they ask themselves what it would be like if they once again find the way to each other’s hearts.

First of all, I want to underline how great of a choice this book would be for book clubs. There are so many situations in this book that could be discussed and viewed from the different angles.
I love those type of stories, where there are no white and black situations, but many, many different shades of gray, because life is like that in reality.

I really liked the book, but if I’m being honest, I think I would appreciate it so much more if I’m older or maybe emotionally more mature, because at this point in my life, I just can’t understand or emotionally process some things that were described in this story.

From my subjective POV, I could read about our characters, try to understand them the best I can, but I just don’t know what it feels like to have the love of your life and let him go, because you are too hurt to handle yourself.
But then again, this is why we have books: they show us situations we haven’t experienced in our lives (yet).

The story is set in todays’ time, with some chapters set in 1985s, when Stella and Jack were young and in love.
Some scenes were emotionally hard to read, because they talk how Stella and Jack lost their little son, and how that tragedy changed them.

I really loved Jack when he was young. He was such a carrying person, always there for Stella.
Twenty years after, he was my least favorite character. I didn’t like how he treated his wife Lisa. I think he was selfish and I feel like his development as a person was realistically portrayed.

Even though I liked and appreciate this novel, I have to say that there were some things that I wasn’t a fan of:

First thing, I didn’t like how Stella’s beauty was so many times highlighted. I mean, I get that she was beautiful (especially when she was young), but I didn’t like how sometimes it was mentioned to put Lisa (Jack’s now-wife) down.
There is one particular scene that made me angry. Jack finds himself on a drink with his old friend. That friend congrats him on his wedding and immediately tells Jack how his ex wife Stella was so beautiful and that he shouldn’t have let her go.
If you ask me, it was disrespectful to Lisa and to Jack, and the fact that Jack didn’t even react to that bothered me (and let’s be honest here, Lisa is something like 20 years younger then Stella, and as far as I know, no beauty can win against time).

Second: I didn’t like how the author handled the whole Jack and Lisa situation in the end. I feel like she chose the easy way out for Jack.

As you can probably conclude from my review, my favorite character was Lisa, and this novel pictures perfect how sometimes innocent people get hurt when two people find the way to each other.

I would recommend this book to everyone who likes to read about people, about difficult situations in life, and who like to discuss about books with friends.

This is the perfect choice for book clubs and I think mature audience would appreciate it the most.

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