Andrea and Lexi thought they would be best friends for ever. Through thick and thin, growing pains and wild nights out, they were inseparable. But it was their biggest adventure that was to tear them apart: travelling through Australia, Andrea and Lexi are involved in a catastrophic accident. Andrea is left scarred but her best friend is nowhere to be found. What happened to Lexi?
Two years later, Andy’s scar means she’s too scared to go out into the real world. Instead, she spends her time with her grumpy cat Baz and her hopeless boss Alistair. And Lexi still hasn’t been in touch. When Andy’s sister needs somewhere to stay, bringing her boyfriend and all their dramas with them, Andy realises she’s been hiding for too long. Just because she’s keeping some home truths buried doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way …
Martina Reilly is the third name that this author has written under, she previously wrote teenage fiction as Martina Murphy and women’s fiction as Tina Reilly. Her more recent women’s fiction has been published as Martina Reilly, this was the first book of hers that I’d read under this name. I’d loved everything I’d read by Tina Reilly, would I still love her as Martina? Well the answer was a resounding yes.
The book introduces us to Andy, she’s been living the life of a recluse for the last couple of years following an accident that has left her with a scar. Scared to go out because of what people might say about the scar on her face she’s built a safe world for herself within her flat. When her sister calls and says that her flat has burnt down and can she and her boyfriend Luke come and stay for a while she of course says yes, their presence encourages Andy to start re-examining her life and to take the first steps towards conquering her fears.
Running alongside Andy’s story is Lexi’s story. Lexi is Andy’s best friend and was in the accident with her. Ever since she’s been hiding away, no one knows where she is or whether she’s even alive. Filled with guilt about the accident Lexi finds a new place to hide away, and begins to get to know the people in the small town she’s arrived in. The two stories run alongside each other, with the narrative switching between the two in different chapters.
I fell in love with Andy almost instantly. She’s such a warm and likeable character, I could imagine myself sitting down and enjoying a chat over a coffee with her. I also loved Lexi, she’s much more of a guarded character but I instantly felt drawn to her and keen to find out more about her. I felt drawn to carry on reading because I wanted to know so much more about both main characters.
I loved the way the book was written, switching between the two main characters. What I didn’t expect was the twist that came about three quarters of the way through the book. It took me completely by surprise, when I got to the end of the chapter with the twist I actually went back and read it again, I was so surprised by it. It definitely fit the plot, and looking back I could see the little hints that had been left. Whereas sometimes I feel a little let down by twists for me this promoted the book from being a great book to being an utterly brilliant one.
I enjoyed every minute of reading this book, and I will definitely be recommending it to other people.
A Moment Like Forever is published in paperback by Sphere in the UK from 3rd March 2011 priced £6.99. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book all of the opinions expressed are my own.