Review of To Have And To Hold by Helen Chandler

Published: 19th June 2014
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 352


From the outside, Ella has the happy marriage, the cute kids and the comfortable home – inside, she craves something more. But giving in to temptation will stir up a whole heap of trouble… Imogen’s relationship with Pete was once fun and carefree but since they’ve become parents, everything is different. Then an accident provides the catalyst for a life-changing decision. Fifteen-year-old Phoebe is miserable at home and at school. And now her dad, who was always her ally, seems completely distracted by something – or someone. Maybe it’s time Phoebe took a stand, and took control of her own life.

As Ella, Imogen and Phoebe contemplate taking the biggest risk of their lives, marriages, families and friendships hang in the balance. Should they take the leap, or will they risk losing everything?


Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton for kindly sending me a copy. I read Helen’s previous book and really enjoyed it.

Phoebe is being bullied at school and her Mum isn’t exactly supportive. “If you didn’t always have your head stuck in a book, lost a bit of weight…” She sounds like a lovely person, right? HA! Phoebe’s parents treat her very differently and readers are instantly Team Dad. Ella and Imogen have been friends for three years now. They’re both Mum’s and their lives are a little on the dull side. Ella wants excitement and for her husband Grey to do more around the house. Imogen, on the other hand, seems to do absolutely everything. Her baby’s Dad lives with them and he is actually in a relationship with Imogen – but he may as well not be.

I thought the narrative progressed at a nice, easy pace to read but at times, I needed the plot to speed up a little. Phoebe’s part in the book was the strongest in my eyes. As scared and alone as she was, I instantly connected with her. As for Ella and Imogen, I was surprised by their outcome. I thought Ella’s connection to Phoebe was a little on the unrealistic side, especially with everything that happened between Ella and Phoebe’s Dad.

Twitter: @HelenLChandler
Website: www.helenlchandler.wordpress.com