cover image Love Always

Love Always

Harriet Evans. S&S/Gallery, $16 trade paper (480p) ISBN 978-1-4516-3962-9

The death of family matriarch Frances brings up all sorts of buried conflict within the Kapoor clan related to the tragic early demise of her daughter, Cecily, who never lived to see past the age of 16 and whose death has always been blamed on her sister Miranda. When Miranda's daughter Natasha (who bears a strong resemblance to Cecily) tries to understand the source of the conflict, her grandfather Arvind gives her Cecily's diary from the summer when she died. The contents reveal webs of lies, her grandmother's infidelity with a teenager, and a love affair between Cecily and a fellow named Guy. When Natasha confronts her mother, she learns something she never expected (but the reader suspects this early on). Evans's newest is surprisingly engrossing because she is able to deftly juggle many different plots, which is good considering that certain twists are predictable early on. The supporting characters such as Arvind are given short shrift for a family drama. Still, Evans keeps the reader turning pages to see what Natasha will do next because they will identify with a protagonist who strives to pick apart the lies in her life and piece together a truth. Readers will also enjoy the firm sense of setting, both in Cornwall and London. (June)