Things really don’t stay the same

Beth’s 35 and standing at the wedding of her best friend’s brother realising that she is never going to marry him and that if she wishes to have a baby she needs to come up with another plan, and soon. This is the start of Five Winters by Kitty Johnson which then follows Beth through the next five years checking in with her every winter so that the reader can see what has changed in her life. It’s a clever way of telling this story and I liked the way that it moves time on reasonably quickly – I was eager, at the beginning of each new section of the book, to find out what had changed since the last year.

Beth meets a new boyfriend at the wedding and starts a different life but Jaime has children by his previous relationship and things are maybe too quick and often very difficult. She also has to watch the marriage of the man she adores and help her best friend as she struggles with her own relationship. None of the issues are resolved quickly or easily.

Beth’s story is not a very dramatic one but she is an engaging character and we want to see her get her desires however difficult that looks at first. It is good to have a main character who is confident in herself, knows what she wants out of life, isn’t afraid to give up on something and has a healthy dose of self-deprecating humour. None of the characters is really horrible and even the nice ones have a few flaws to make them more human. The events are realistic and the author knows how to give us a happy ending that satisfies the reader. A light but entertaining read.

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