Published: 17th May 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart. Five years later, they find each other. Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they must separate. For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?
The plot opens with a glance into the future as Nell, the main female character sits in hospital with her son Luke, telling him a story of how the phrase “five years from now” came into her life and played a big part in meeting her one true love. From the opening few pages, I found myself really warming to Nell as a character – she was strong, she was confident but most of all, it was clear that she was family orientated. The plot takes the reader onto a real journey as we are guided through her life from Nell being five years old and meeting Van for the very first time.
“The first thing I see when I wake up is the colour of wheat.”
Nell and Van meet at the age of five when Nell’s Dad and Van’s Mum decide to take their relationship to the next level and move into together. With Nell and her Dad being based in Cornwall, it become the perfect cosy home of four very quickly as Paige wrote their family dynamic with such ease. There becomes a time during the first segment of the plot in which the parents realise that things could dramatically heat up between the two children as they grow up. I found myself to be rooting for Nell and Van, rather than being disgusted at the fact that they’re growing up as siblings who are developing feelings for one another, but when Paige writes romance between two characters – we all know that it will be spectacular.
“His lips are soft and his hands hold me steady, which is just as well because I’m dizzy from the short, sharp breaths I’m barely managing to take.”
It isn’t a Paige Toon novel without a slice of emotional heart break which has repercussions for Nell and Van as they are forced to be at either side of the world, not knowing when they will see one another again. The plot remains with Nell as she grows up, goes to Liverpool for University, forgets about Van (for now!) and finds herself falling for a new man. During Easter one year, Nell and her current boyfriend head back to Cornwall to spend time with her Dad and this is when readers are given a real sense of chemistry between Nell and Van. The passion between them was always strong, but now that they’re adults, it was certainly undeniable.
“He stares at me for a long moment and I feel like I’m sinking, drowning.”
Within life, people have many relationships and that was certainly the case for both Nell and Van as their worlds continued to be pushed apart and some relationships consider marriage, babies and even divorce. There were a few key moments in Nell’s life which I deeply wish readers were given more information about: her marriage, her divorce and her pregnancy. Overall, the narrative ended in a completely unexpected way and I’m actually glad that it did because it certainly wasn’t the love story that you would expect as a blast from the past came knocking on the door and swept Nell up off her feet. The last line though.. So pleased that Paige included that because it was the slightest slither of hope for Nell and Van.
If you’re going on holiday this summer, this is the best book for your trip! I read it throughout my time in Crete – I just couldn’t stop reading it and the story of Nell and Van is just so easy to fall into. Paige has definitely out done herself once again.