Book Review: 'Love Always' by Harriet Evans

By Jackie Morrison,
Family entaglements and the ties that bind
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When an Anglo-Indian woman discovers an old family secret from her grandfathers it changes her perspective of her own identity. Natasha Kapoor loves visiting her grandparents’ home on the coast. She is enjoying a swinging London lifestyle that includes a career as a successful jewelry designer. She's also married and about to be divorced. When her grandmother dies and she visits her ancestral home in Cornwall for the funeral it sparks unanswered questions to a lifelong mystery.

Embedded in Natasha's family secret is her dead aunt Cecily who left the family many years ago. Cecily had died as a teenager and it is a loss that Natasha’s grandparents never quite got over. The long dead Cecily harbors a haunting specter in the dynamics of Natasha's family. Her curiosity is sparked when her grandfather gives her long-lost diary that Cecily used to chronicle the strange and complicated dynamics between her parents and siblings. Not only is Natasha left speechless by the contents of the diary but the sadness and betrayal of Cecily’s short life spurs Natasha to learn the truth about her own origins.

Everything that Natasha thought she was is turned upside down as she pieces together the details of Cecily’s forbidden love and risky choices. Evans weaves a tale of how we can learn from those who come before us. The discovery of Cecily’s life nearly half a century after death her offers a perspective that can help Natasha ease into a new future without her husband. Natasha’s unusual family is comprised both of traditions from two worlds and it is Cecily’s confusion and rebellion that reveals how much of the family is tied up in the past. Evans makes us wonder if Natasha can see past the pain and tragedy of Cecily to live out the rest of her life fully with the lessons learned from her aunt’s old diary entries.



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