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Kat's Review of You And Me Always by Jill Mansell

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Synopsis: On the morning of Lily's twenty-fifth birthday, it's time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight.

Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum's life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie's attentions.

Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily's friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again...

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

KAT'S REVIEW: I have always been a reader ever since a young age, but became an avid reader in my late teens. There were a couple of authors I always resorted to and Jill Mansell was one of them. The thing that I have realised is that Jill along with another long term author Carole Matthews have almost become the reading equivalent of a security blanket. Having read every published book by Jill Mansell I have never been disappointed with a book she has written. It seems in the last 5 or 6 years every book she has published (with the exception of 1) has been a solid 5 star read. This latest book is no exception to that rule, other than in one way. I think (although am not sure) I may have broken a personal record?!? I started this new JM last night at around 8pm, I read late into the night and this morning finished the final 3 chapters before I’d even made 3 stops on my train journey. Now I know I am a quick reader but this seems somehow like the quickest I have ever read a book! One of the reasons is that yet again Jill Mansell has created a wonderful book that meant everything else in my life stopped!

Lily is the main focus of this story but if I am being entirely honest this book felt like they all had lead parts. Lily is a 25 year old woman growing up in the village of Stanton Langley in the Cotswolds with her unusual family set up. Having lost her Mum at a young age, her Mum’s best friend Carol is her surrogate Mum almost along with Patsy her childhood Babysitter and Patsy’s brother Dan who happens to have been lifelong friends with Lily. It all sounds rather convoluted and unnecessary; however nothing could be further from the truth. The characters all feel so familiar almost instantly and the characters be it villagers or friends all make the story weave together seamlessly.

A strange and chance encounter means that Lily meets Eddie Tessler, a very famous Actor who is fleeing his unwanted press attention. This takes the story to a whole new level and there really are some wonderful book moments. Lily is a brilliant character who speaks the truth and when she faces Eddie with her honesty he is blown away and a friendship blossoms. There is so much going on in this story but I cannot stress how much of an easy and enjoyable read it was. Yes there is plenty of romance going on, but it’s interspersed with funny characters and a great plot line. It seems that Jill Mansell continues to show why she is an author that has been around for more than 25 years and can STILL produce Bestsellers. An absolutely wonderful, feel good read and perfect for to cheer you up on a dreary January 

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