When Lee first came to Amsterdam, it was with a newborn baby and a secret.
Five years later, her life is approaching normal: her career as a celebrity photographer is flourishing, her son Jasper is growing up, and they are enjoying the run-up to Christmas with their tight circle of close friends.
But all this changes one morning when Lee finds a book in the basket of her bicycle – and scrawled inside it, a desperate message. Who left it for her, and why?
Lee feels compelled to help and tracks down the book’s author, Sam. With an instant, undeniable connection it seems they might have a shot at a real future together.
Until her past comes calling.
As the snow falls and ice thickens on the city’s canals, the secret Lee has never told resurfaces. Suddenly everything she holds dear hangs in the balance.
Christmas is a time for being together – but what if the truth means she ends up alone?
I received a copy of this book from Pan Macmillan via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This story is an engaging mix of family, friends, romance, and secrets, with topical themes, and a festive twist. The first chapters highlight an important relationship and hint at dramatic events revealed as the story unfolds. The relationships are complex, and Lee, the main protagonist, conflicted about many things. Damaged by the past, she focuses on her son and the good in her life, but as her past surfaces, she needs to confront it to heal.
Believable characters, a vibrant setting and festive events keep the reader entertained. This is an immersive and at times claustrophobic story but the festive customs and strong friendships counteract the angst, and the ending is a satisfying conclusion.