What happens when you can’t see that the man you married is actually the one you love?
For her whole life Nina Findlay has been in a love triangle with two Italian brothers, Paolo, whom she married, and Luca, with whom she was always in love and who remained her best friend throughout her marriage. Now Nina faces the future alone—estranged from Luca and separated from Paolo, she escapes to the tiny Greek island where she honeymooned twenty-five years earlier. After an accident she finds herself in the hospital telling her life story to an eagerly attentive doctor. As their conversations unfold she comes to understand the twists and turns of her romantic life and the unconscious influence of her parents’ marriage on her own.
Gillies's (The White Lie) assured novel uses fragmented storytelling and flashbacks to generate tension and suspense in what might otherwise be a static narrative. Nina Findlay, hospitalized after a bus accident while on holiday in Greece, dissects her broken marriage and other fractured relationships in conversation with the attentive, attractive Dr. Christos. Gillies skillfully builds a sense of mystery around the secrets that destroyed the lifelong bond between Nina and the Romano brothers who grew up next door: Luca, her favorite, and Paolo, her husband of 25 years. Through her budding trust in the doctor, Nina explores the pivotal losses that haunt her: her parents' separation, the deaths of her mother and sister-in-law, her miscarriage. Gillies's brisk, confident style deftly manages convoluted jumps in time, and small gems of insight glitter among her clean, precise prose: "There was no doubt that Paolo was the nicer brother. Always kind. Even-tempered. Reliable. Loyal. But it hadn't been any use." This sure-handed, lovely exploration of the human heart is certain to build Gillies's audience.