Published by Severn House Publishers on November 1, 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Who knows what secrets lie within a marriage ...? Sarah Harrison's compelling new romantic drama.
Everyone envies young Flora Mayfield: she has the best parents in the world. A successful, handsome father and a gorgeous, vivacious mother who adore each other, and no siblings with whom to share the limelight of their love and attention.
But Flora has always known there's something rather different about her family life. Her parents, Nico and Zinny, set an impossible standard - of beauty, of success, of romance. Clever, plain Flora feels condemned to live in their shadow. But just as she begins to blossom, having fallen in love for the first time, a devastating piece of news forces Flora to confront her parents about the past, unearthing a series of shocking secrets and causing Flora to question her very identity.
ove in a Mist is a compelling tale about the corruption of lies, the terrifying discovery of truth and the hard-won freedom, finally, to love.
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
Flora Mayfield’s life in an English seaside town with her parents, it should have been idyllic, but for her parents themselves, Nico and Zinny. Flora always knew her parents were different – her mother was older than her father, for instance – but the three of them never really seemed like a family; Flora felt like she intrudes on their coupledom. Nico was very nice to her, but not in a fatherly way, while Zinny never felt like a mother should, aloof, indifferent, and Flora sensed that were she to vanish, her parents would not really notice. Flora, always a loner, still managed to live a decent enough life until two events perturbed her, until then, dullish existence.
Sarah Harrison’s wonderfully very British writing style drew me in right away, as did the slightly unsettling atmosphere of the story. Even without reading the blurb, it’s evident that there is a disaster waiting to happen, it’s a matter of what and when. LOVE IN A MIST is told in the first person, from Flora’s point of view, going back and forth between 1968 and 2000, and this is done seamlessly; I never felt jerked around, the period details were perfect, and it shows us the baffling dynamics of the Mayfields through the years. The tension is stronger at the beginning, then somewhat fades into in the background in the middle part, to resurface in the last quarter of the book. LOVE IN A MIST is slow but evenly paced, which is not a criticism – the story could not have been rushed – although I failed to see the purpose of the Easter weekend trip to Paris; it was lovely, but brought very little to the plot. Some episodes, I felt were needlessly long, while they made for interesting reading, took us away from the suspense. Ms. Harrison’s prose is utterly gorgeous, her descriptions luminous and vivid, but readers ought to take into consideration that the spelling and expressions are British; I certainly have no problem with it.
I found the “devastating piece of news” somewhat anticlimactic. I expected something more explosive, given the blurb, and a couple of red herrings. I had guessed part of the “revelation”, and it felt a bit odd, as the story is told in Flora’s voice, that she had no clue. It also occurred very late in the book – at around 70% – and I wondered about the relevance of one character’s backstory, especially since it did not fully explain the character’s behaviour, which seemed contradictory. Some things were left dangling, although it allowed for a rational conclusion to Flora’s story, but the ending left me slightly unsatisfied, especially that the real shocker for me, came in the last two pages. I must add that my favourite character was, by far, “the Prof”. LOVE IN A MIST is a book that is not for everyone; it hovers between women’s fiction and romance with a dash of psychological suspense; it is a different and fascinating reading experience.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.