Review of “Where is She Now” by Charlie Bray,

October, 2013

This is the second of Frances Gilbert’s books that I have had the privilege of reviewing and I set out to do so with trepidation, as I was so captivated by the first one, She Should Have Come for Me. I doubted this one would measure up, but I need not have worried. If I was rationed for space, I could sum up Where is She Now in one word – Brilliant!

Frances’s characters are so real, with real vulnerability, real flaws, real guile. As with many people in real life, you never really know where you stand with them, or what to believe.

Rosemary gains the reader’s empathy by the delicate path she treads through life, often seeking assurance from inanimate every day objects. This in itself speaks volumes of her mind set. Undoubtedly she carries baggage and is surrounded in mystery – all the more enticing for the reader. There are effectively two Rosemarys, which makes the reader’s task of understanding her even more complex.

She clearly understands more than the reader gives her credit for, and this is evidenced in a scene towards the end of the book – Rosemary looked at Brian, but he had turned away, he was looking out of the window. Rosemary knew he wanted to get back into that ordinary world, the courtyard swept clean by the rain and the busy street at the end with coffee shops and supermarkets and busy ordinary people 

She is constantly open to comparison with her husband, Brian and inner self, Anna, but the author never allows you to settle into comfort with any of them.

The wonderfully crafted setting is created from an amalgam of two English towns and plays an integral part in the story.

The superb ending is probably not one you were expecting.

So, in my eyes, a 100% sucess rate for Frances Gilbert. Two books reviewed, two winners.

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