Wednesday 6 November 2019

Book Review: Where the Story Starts by Imogen Clark

Last Updated: 21 September 2021

Where the Story Starts by Imogen Clark book cover

AD* | A strange encounter. An unlikely friendship. But will it survive when they both know the truth?

As a single mother, Leah struggles to get her children ready one morning, the doorbell rings. Standing on the doorstep of their terraced house in Whitley Bay is a well-dressed stranger, Clio, who feels an emotional tie to the house that she can’t explain. The story should end there, but a long-buried secret is already on its way to the surface…

In some ways the two women couldn’t be more different: Leah’s a mother of two and the daughter of a barmaid; Clio’s a perennially single heiress to her baroness mother’s estate. But where Leah lacks grown-up company, Clio lacks any experience of the real world, and the unlikely friendship sparked by their curious first meeting offers both of them a welcome respite from the routine of their lives.

It is a friendship that will answer questions neither of them knew to ask, uncovering secret stories from the past that have stayed hidden for decades. But will it also be the catalyst for them to finally feel that they belong?

Mysteries abound in this suspenseful tale, expertly weaving two very different lives inexplicably together.

Where the Story Starts follows the stories of two women, Leah and Clio, who come from vastly different walks of life. Clio is a wealthy aristocrat who has never wanted anything in her life, while Leah is a single mother struggling to make ends meet. Despite their different backgrounds, the two women are drawn to one another, and as a firm friendship begins to develop, uncomfortable truths and long-buried secrets slowly start to come to light.

The suspense in this story is slow, gradually building with each page rather than rushing in headfirst. It's masterfully written, keeping you guessing right until the very end, and remains highly engaging throughout.

The characters are complex and multi-faceted, each with their own unique strengths and weaknesses which are explored throughout the course of the book. Leah and Clio, and their mothers and families, in turn, are interesting to read about and engage with as the story develops.

Each twist is unexpected and surprising, once again giving credit to the author's skill, and the book is very firmly anchored in its sense of place which adds a great additional dimension to the plot. It's easy to picture the events in the book, particularly in Whitley Bay, and you can almost see each scene unfolding before your mind's eye.

Where the Story Starts is a fantastic contemporary novel and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

Rating: 4 stars

Where the Story Starts is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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