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“You can’t hide from grief, it’s in you. You have to accept it and accommodate it to work through it.”

Ten Years by Pernille Hughes is our first book by this Author, and what an absolute blinder of an introduction to her work. We bloody loved it! The way she tells a story with such detail, attention, and visual imagery, as well as the intensity of emotions and the depth of her characters -well- it reminded us of the wonderful Sarra Manning and Lia Louis. It was so good, and we loved pretty much everything about Ten Years!

‘Losing Ally had been losing half of himself. For months he couldn’t work out who he even was without her. Moreover, the Charlie who’d been left behind was miserable, angry, and lost. He didn’t like that Charlie, with his unshakeable cloak of sadness.’

Ally, Becca, and Charlie. A three-clover friendship held together only by Ally suddenly becomes two when Ally passes away and Becca loses her best mate and Charlie his beloved fiancé. Much to their surprise, Ally leaves them with a bucket list of where she wants parts of her ashes scattered. So, what do two people who pretty much ‘hate’ each other do in order to honour the memory of their loved one? Well, they decide to carry out one item from the list once a year to minimise contact. These celebrations of Ally become so incredibly special and creates a bond that grows in strength, year by year. However, old animosity is hard to break but sometimes Charlie and Becca ‘doth protest too much, methinks.’

“Whatever. This is different. You belonged to her. Me being with you is disloyal, it’s wrong. What would she think?” Loyalty was everything to Becca. He knew that.

This is a superbly written enemies to lover’s romance with a few twists and bags of surprises along the way. It’s a story that looks at friendships and love, examines the celebration of human flaws and differences, with understanding and compassion. It explores living with grief and learning about yourself as well as the importance of self-reflection and growth. Such a wonderful novel that stole our hearts and made us feel everything in Charlie and Becca’s heartbreak, grief, guilt, and love story spanning ten years.

“I’m not prepared to give you up. I love you, and that’s the reason you should say, ‘Charlie, you’re so right, let’s do this’” ….
“What is it you think you’ve stopped? Me loving you? That’s not how that works. Just because you say it can’t happen doesn’t make it so.”

Ten Years read as incredibly real, and we felt as if we knew these characters and were a part of their story. It had bucketloads of angst and tension as well as extreme emotions and passion, with scattered laughter to break up the darker moments. It was a life and love story through ten years of hurt, anger, grief, laughter, sadness, and love. A slow building love story written with sensitivity that perhaps caused it to feel a tad long, although we never felt it to be repetitive. Rather, we needed to know if Becca and Charlie were going to be okay and that they found themselves in a place where they could be happy and settled after such personal tragedy. Find themselves as well as love. What an immense journey, we cannot wait to pick up more books from this Author!

‘They’d been enemies, then mates, then lovers, then enemies again, then apparently mates again, so perhaps…’

Synopsis

Becca and Charlie have known each other since university.
Becca and Charlies have also hated each other since university.

Until now. Until Ally’s bucket list. The death of their loved one should mean they can go their separate ways and not look back. But completing the list is something neither of them can walk away from.

And sometimes, those who bring out the worst in you, also bring out the very best…

Over the course of ten years, Becca and Charlie’s paths collide as they deal with grief, love and life after Ally.

Not since Emma and Dex in One Day and Will and Lou in Me Before You will you root for a couple as much.

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“You can’t hide from grief, it’s in you. You have to accept it and accommodate it to work through it.”

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