Books · Read in 2022 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: You Then, Me Now (Nick Alexander)

Pageturner with something lacking

★★★★★☆☆

Title: You Then, Me Now
Author: Nick Alexander (UK)
Genre: Fiction /Contemporary
First published: 2019
Edition: Kindle e-book

Becky’s father is not just absent: he’s a mystery, a gaping hole in her past. He died before she was born and for her mother, Laura, the subject is strictly off-limits. But when Laura books an unexpected trip to Greece, Becky decides to join her, determined to get closer to her mother—and to the truth. As they make their way to the beautiful island of Santorini, it becomes clear that this holiday is not as impulsive as Becky thought. Laura’s hiding something from her daughter—and she’s been hiding it for as long as Becky can remember. Laura has been here before, and that last visit holds the answers to Becky’s past.

***

I read this one in 24 hours, which is very good going for me as it is just shy of 300 pages. Clearly it was a pageturner that made me want to keep reading, but in the end I felt like something had been missing.

The story starts out strong with Becky and her mother Laura in separate timelines. Becky’s in the present and Laura’s back in 1994. We follow each of their stories until they converge in the present, when they return to Santorini together. I feel like their stories separately were stronger than once they came together. When they were together something about the relationship between the two women just did not ring true and in the final 50 pages or so the story really dipped a bit for me.

There are trigger warnings for violence and sexual violence, but overall I did not mind the way those subjects were handled. This is my second book by Nick Alexander and I do like the way he writes and the way he builds the stories. I think he handled the relationships in Things We Never Said better and I preferred that novel, but there were things I liked about this one as well. There was of course the Santorini setting, which was a pleasure to spend time in. I think he also did a particularly good job building Laura’s 1990s character, though present-day Laura did not quite feel like the same person. Of course that could have been because of everything she had been through, but still… I definitely felt more of a connection to her than Becky.

Overall, I would definitely pick up another novel by this author, because I do enjoy his writing. This one just fell a little bit flat at the end.

5 out of 7 stars

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