Imagine you get home one day… and waiting for you on your doorstep is a gift.
It is wrapped beautifully, and inside is a notebook, its pages empty. There is no message.
But its sender has a story to tell.
About a secret. About the little girl you once were. About everything you know about your family.
The gifts keep arriving. But when tragedy strikes – leaving your beloved only daughter fighting for her life – the person who has been sending the gifts will have no choice but to come forward. And to finally tell the truth…
A heartbreakingly beautiful novel about motherhood, loss and family secrets, for fans of Kerry Fisher, Susan Lewis and Jodi Picoult.
Author: Anna Mansell
Genre: Literary Fiction; Women's Fiction
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 371
Date of Publication: September 29, 2020
My Rating: 4 Stars
Lisa is a good mum to her five-year-old daughter Poppy. She is the only parent Poppy knows and things have gone well for her, despite the recent loss of her grandmother. Her father is a bit controlling, but she is assured of his love. One day Lisa gets a strange package in the mail. It starts of with a blank journal, but then other gifts begin to arrive.
Tragedy strikes however, when Lisa is in a car accident and Poppy is seriously injured. Just prior to that Lisa had started dating, but had thought of Poppy's father from time to time, wondering if she should let Poppy have a relationship with him. Now that Poppy has become injured, her ex comes back into the picture, and this has an affect on Lisa's current relationship. Combine that stress with the fact Lisa still continues to get strange packages and Lisa is at sixes and sevens.
What We Leave Behind was an even mix of family drama as well as the mystery behind the gifts. The drama came in when it came to Poppy's recovery and regarding Lisa and her family situation, especially when it came to her father. Revelations as to the packages were revealed and I was kept guessing about that.
This touching story comes full circle for Lisa, giving readers an insight with regard to her life and even the choices she is forced to make. This is only my second book by Anna Mansell and I enjoyed how she drew me into the characters and the story. I feel like she did a fine job of drawing out my emotions when it came to Lisa and her family in this engrossing read. I very much look forward to reading her next book.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anna spent almost twenty years trying to shoehorn writing in to her career as a marketing manager for dance and theatre companies. Eventually, she did what you are not remotely supposed to do and walked away from an excellent job in order to try and become a published author. Three years, lots of tears and some slightly hairy bank balances later, she met Kirsty Greenwood and the rest, as they say, is history. Anna lives in Cornwall with her husband and two kids. She feels very fortunate!