Prize-winning fiction always catches the eye of book clubs and blogs so it is no surprise that Maggie O’Farrell crossed my radar. She was the winner of 2010 Costa Book Award for her book, The Hand That First Held Mine.
The novel tells the story of two couples: Lexie Sinclair runs away from home to London in the 1950s where she sets up home with magazine editor/publisher Innes Kent. Their’s is a beautiful and happy love story, for a time.
In the present, Elina has just given birth and is learning to cope with her new baby. Her partner, Ted, finds the new baby stirs up memories of his own childhood that are disturbing because they don’t entirely fit with his present circumstances.
The two stories are interlinked and although the reader guesses that from the outset, it takes quite a while to learn exactly where the links are.
I found The Hand that First Held Mine sometimes surprised me. It is very well written and will have you turning the pages. If you haven’t read Maggie O’Farrell before, do give her a try. I don’t think that you will be disappointed.