A really really good book. One of the best I have read for you. I could identify with so much... It had everything going for it. It was well written with well rounded characters and a very good story to boot! Marks: 9/10. I am almost tempted to give it a 10/10! (a Sarah Broadhurst reader)
A very beautiful and very moving story (Lesley Pearse)
This is a remarkable first novel, rich and deep and full of wonderfully realized characters. Oh, these women! (Anne Rivers Siddons)
I enjoyed this novel very much. I liked the way it moved through the years and the generations. I was also taken by the different 'venues'... Hong Kong in the rich years; London through the eyes of a working mother; and the faded dilapidated glory of Ireland, where horses and dogs are of prime importance, while small domestic details like food, comfort, warmth and cheer are allowed to go by the board.
The three women were well drawn...I had much time for the daughter Sabine... and I enjoyed Thom the one-armed hero... I read it from start to finish, and was pleased that the author did not shy away from a hopeful ending for all her three ladies. Even though it was raining at the time.(Rosamunde Pilcher)
Although the story jumps frequently from place to place and from one generation to the next, the author is able to make these effortless transitions for the reader. The characters are strong, believable and endearing - and will evoke recognition and sympathy from all ages . . . An enjoyable read - and a promising debut novel (Sunday Express)
By any standards this is wonderful, full-blooded, traditional storytelling but with a fresh individual slant which is entirely the writer's. The characters are piercingly and lovingly observed, and she pulls off the masterly trick of engaging our sympathies and emotions with every one of an enormous and diverse cast... I love her book and her writing and feel sure a great literary future awaits her. (Sarah Harrison)
Perceptive debut novel . . . Be sure that your bookmark is a hankie (Elle, London)
Believable characters, faithfully described scenery, horses and hounds, mud and mould, this is good, old-fashioned storytelling at its best. Destined to be a bestseller, the book has a beautifully designed cover and, once opened, it is almost impossible to stop reading (North Shore Times, Australia)
I have just finished it tonight on Christmas Eve, and I have to confess to crying at the scene when Annie has her baby.
It is a very beautiful and very moving story. Jojo has created something very special with a subject which is very dear to my heart. Families, the conflicts, the things left unspoken when they should be aired. The inability of most of us to really understand a different generation.
Her portrayal of teenage Sabine was masterful, that infuriating blend teenagers have of contrariness, sweetness, awkwardness, torturer, and now and then angel. She was so very real to me, the mother of three girls.
As for Kate, how well I knew her too; I have been in so many of the pits she kept stumbling into. And Joy with her steel backbone. An absolutely perfect characterisation of those indomitable women of that class and generation.
I have absolutely no criticism. I loved it and I have no doubt Jojo will become a force to be reckoned with. I dare say she will appeal to many of my fans, but that is fine with me, for the kind of women who read my books are very hungry for more good family stories.
Please pass on my congratulations to her, and I shall keep my fingers crossed for her around publication day. I will also inform everyone who looks to me for inside information on books, what a fabulous story it is.(Lesley Pearse)