Thank you to Pan MacMillan for a digital review copy via NetGalley. My thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.
Life isn’t a spreadsheet, Dan! You can’t fit people into boxes and charts.’
But Dan had never before come across a spreadsheet that had let him down. At the top of the page he’d listed all the best things about his brother that he wanted to emulate, then, in neat, typed columns below, he had thought up a number of ways in which he could try to fill in the gaps Patrick had left.
When faced with a sudden family tragedy, Dan’s mission is clear. He puts together a project to help pick up the pieces and support his grieving sister-in-law Zoe, plus her young children. This is Dan’s promise – to ensure his family’s happiness, and to try and live up to the man his brother was.
But tying up loose ends brings a shocking secret to light, and calls into question everything Dan knew about his older brother. With more than just his promise on the line, Dan is faced with an ultimatum: Should he tell the truth and risk his family’s fragile happiness, or will his brother’s secrets end up becoming his own?
As a regular reader of books by Lucy Diamond, I was pleased to have the opportunity to read and review the latest book before publication.
This is the first book I remember by Lucy Diamond with a male main character. Dan has just lost his brother Patrick, who has left behind a widow, three children and their parents. Dan, we discover, has been a workaholic since his own marriage ended, and taking a break from work enables him to discover what he has been missing out with his family.
Still in work mode, Dan creates himself a spreadsheet to ensure that he can help Zoe and the children with family life and looking after Patrick’s business affairs. However, this idea becomes more complicated when he makes a shock discovery when querying a regular payment from Patrick’s business account.
The story shows how Dan realises that there is more to life than just work and that the ‘perfect family man’ brother he thought he had, wasn’t so perfect. I enjoyed this book, full of relatable characters and a mixture of sadness and humour. Hopefully the many other Lucy Diamond fans will also agree with me that this is another excellent story.