Review: Come Back to Me by Sara Foster

Come Back to Me

by Sara Foster

Do you have to honour a promise you made in the past if it means losing all that you have now?

When Mark introduces his date, Julia, to Chloe and her husband at a London restaurant, it’s obvious something is very, very wrong. Alex and Julia pretend not to know each other, but the shocked expressions on their faces tell another story.

As the mystery of Julia’s identity unravels, a terrible tragedy from ten years ago gradually comes to light. While Chloe struggles with a secret of her own, Alex has to decide whether he should take Julia back to Australia to try to lay the past to rest, when doing so will risk all he has with the wife he loves.

And Julia must decide whether to finally confront Alex with the whole truth about what happened back then.

Set in London and Perth, Come Back to Me is a taut psychological drama that will keep you enthralled until the very last page.

This book sets a fast pace from the start, where old friends Alex and Julia meet after a long absence at a double date with Chloe (Alex’s wife) and Mark (Chloe’s work colleague). And from there it is an incredibly fast story that travels back in time a lot and tries to set wrongs right again.

The story is based around these four main characters, who all have an intense history with each other (it’s going to be hard to go into even minute details about their histories and relationships without giving away some of the book’s secrets – but will do my best!)

The book is primarily set in London, but has very intense scenes that take place in Perth. The writing sweeps you away and you really feel like you are there, on the cold, chilly streets of London, and on the hot, dry, sandy beaches of Western Australia. This author has now become a favourite of mine and I hope the wait is not too long before her next book is released! You can find a review of her latest release Beneath the Shadows here.

Once Alex and Julia find each other again after such a long absence, the mystery about the pair deepens and both Mark and Chloe seem to think that they are having an affair, due to the intensity of their reaction at the chance meeting. Chloe had always thought that she had a happy, healthy and open marriage with Alex, but is now finding it hard to trust him and also come to terms with his hidden past. Especially as he rushes off to Australia with Julia, while they try to confront what tore them apart originally.  Even though Chloe has her own secrets that Alex in unaware of, she seems incapable of coming to terms with him having secrets and an untold history.

During Alex’s absence Mark steps up to become a very supportive friend of Chloe, but is he overstepping the friendship boundaries, and does he have his own secrets that he is hiding from his friends? At this point in Chloe’s life, her normally settled, routine life is turned upside down, with Alex running off, her mother playing the guilt card on more than one occasion and herself trying to come to terms with her stressful work and family life.

Actually this is a book that is big on secrets, everyone seems to be keeping secrets from everyone else, and it is a book that everybody’s stories seems to somehow intertwine with others, it is a story of love and loss, how being strong and taking charge can make us a better person, and how others perceive decisions that have been made even though they were too young, or not involved enough to know the reasons behind those decisions.

Favourite Quote: ‘Look –‘ Margaret put her wine down with some force so that liquid sloshed over the top of the glass and ran down the sides – ‘I can’t bear it any longer. Where do you think you get it from Mikaela? Your mother is no saint; nor am I, for that matter. I ran off to America when I was barely eighteen, and your mother was barred from St Michael’s Church for life when she was still a schoolgirl, after she was caught doing something obscene with one of her boyfriends in the church hall toilets. Our mother despaired of us, I can tell you.’

Both Mikaela’s and Chloe’s mouths had dropped open.

‘Honestly,’ Margaret said, grabbing some tissue and wiping her glass, then picking it up and heading out of the room. ‘You lot imagine you are pioneers of being young and reckless. Well, think again.’ – taken from page 445 (near end of book)

I should add that since Sara Foster now lives in Perth, I have claimed her as an Australian author… You can read a review of Sarah’s latest book, Beneath the Shadows, here.

Published by Random House Australia

Recommended Retail Price $32.95

Recommended Age: 18+

My Rating: 4.5/5

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