“Rachel winked and slipped Iris a custard cream. She’d been cleaning house for the Fairley twins for eight years, and she’d long ago learned that tea and biscuits were just as important as, if not more than, wiping counters and mopping floors.”
Now and Then Friends
By Kate Hewitt
As children Rachel Campbell and Claire West were best friends but due to family circumstances their friendship fell apart. Rachel always took Claire under her wing and when she felt that she was no longer a part of Claire’s life it hurt her deeply but she had to focus on taking care of her mother and helping her family.
Now years have passed and Rachel has taken over her mother’s house cleaning business. She’s still taking care of her sisters and nephew and doesn’t have a lot of time to socialize. The last person she wants to socialize with is Claire West but Claire has come back to town and she seems to pop up whever she is.
For Claire although her life might have seemed more comfortable, she also had her share of heartbreak. Now that she’s out of rehab, although she didn’t really need rehab, she just wants to go back to her where she grew up and forget about society and what she’s supposed to do.
The two women have their work cut out for them. They’ll need to let go of their perceptions of one another and allow for forgiveness and friendship. It’ll be easier for Claire, no doubt, but Rachel will grow to understand that there is nothing wrong with accepting help from friends now and again.
I really enjoyed the setting of this book and wished I could go to Hartley-by-the-Sea. It sounded peaceful even if everyone kind of knew your business. The two main characters aren’t perfect, they have flaws but I like the theme of childhood friendships. We’ve all probably remember a childhood best friend that we lost touch with and wouldn’t it be nice to reconnect? This book is part of a Hartley-by-the Sea series and while I read it out of order I do think it works well as a standalone novel.
Source: Advance Review Copy