The blurb: From the author of The Book of Summers, picked for Richard & Judy’s 2012 summer book club, comes the story of a first love, a terrible tragedy, a snow-filled paradise; a year that will never be forgotten.
For Hadley Dunn, life so far has been uneventful – no great loves, no searing losses. But that’s before she decides to spend a year studying in the glittering Swiss city of Lausanne, a place that feels alive with promise. Here Hadley meets Kristina, a beautiful but elusive Danish girl, and the two quickly form the strongest of bonds. Yet one November night, as the first snows of winter arrive, tragedy strikes.
Hadley, left reeling and guilt-stricken, beings to lean on the only other person to whom she feels close, her American Literature professor Joel Wilson. But as the pair try to uncover the truth of what happened that night, their tentative friendship heads into forbidden territory. And before long a line is irrevocably crossed, everything changes, and two already complicated lives take an even more dangerous course…
My review: This is a poignant love story because when it comes down to the bones of it, that is what this book is about. It’s a young girls story, her first adventure, partway through a university degree in drab old Tonridge she finds herself a foreign student spending the year in the impossibly beautiful Lausanne.
My heart ached when I finished this book. Not for unanswered questions nor for a fantastical plot where woe was heaped on the main characters and their plight was forced and tragic but more for the simple idea of potential and how easily it can be lost.
Emylia Hall is wonderful at creating a sense of place. I immediately wanted to visit Lausanne after only a few pages, a similar feeling I encountered after reading her first book – A Book of Summers.
Hall is a fabulous author and definitely one to watch. Pack this in your suitcase as it comes highly recommended.
9.5 out of 10 stars! *********
BUY ME! A Heart Bent Out of Shape