Posted on January 6, 2021
Jennifer and her husband, Ilan, are fleeing for their lives through the night in Cyprus. A high speed car crash leaves her critically injured with a head wound.
Lucy steps in a rabbit hole on a hillside in Yorkshire, whilst out photographing landscapes and acquires a head injury that sees her lapse into a coma.
And so begins a very tightly plotted story, centred round the lives of the two women and their husbands.
The early part of the book sets up the events immediately before the accidents.
The section dealing with Jennifer has a sharpness and clarity suited to the hectic drive through dark roads. At times, the sentences are almost staccato. Yet Sheridan manages to feed in enough information to give us an idea of Jennifer’s character, particularly her coolness under stress, even though consumed with fear.
Leaving Jennifer’s story just after the point of impact (and there is a great bit of foreshadowing there for the discerning reader), attention turns to Lucy, her husband Charlie and their two daughters. The writing style changes almost imperceptibly here to a softer, more gentle tempo as we gather details of Lucy’s domestic life and her
burgeoning career as a photographer.
The book now becomes a series of dream sequences where the two women’s lives unfold, so vivid that at times they almost feel as if they were a part of the other’s life. It’s not a long book and some of the chapters are quite short, but I was always aware of which woman’s story I was in. The two characters are very distinctively drawn.
Although this book is promoted as Romance combined with Mystery, it’s more than that. There is Romance, certainly. Ilan and Charlie are both charismatic figures in their own way and we’re treated to a few intimate moments, which are sensitively done. The mystery element is very strong; some parts reminded me of a cosy mystery, especially the excellent descriptive passages but, by the time I passed the halfway mark, I felt the plot was heading into thriller territory at times.
When Sheridan begins to tighten the strands of this book, she does it so subtly that the “OMG! I get it!” moment really is a revelation. Suffice to say, this is no ordinary tale and I guarantee you won’t see the end coming until the author chooses to reveal it. One of the very few books that will go on to my To Be Read Again list.
Posted on January 4, 2021
After listening to Boris on the television tonight I think it’s time for a little light relief and these pictures have always brought a smile to my face.
It was very much a family affair which meant everyone was relaxed. Martyn (left) is Hannah’s dad and Mason (right) is Hannah’s partner.
Posted on January 3, 2021
Over the Christmas and New Year period, we watched a lot of old films on television, including Sunset Boulevard, starring the wonderful Gloria Swanson. It’s one of my all-time favourites and I had it firmly in mind while making the photograph below. The model, who I only ever knew as Peaches, was perfect for what I wanted and this somewhat unconventional portrait – Faded Dreams – became one of my favourites.
Posted on January 2, 2021
After resisting the whole concept of ZOOM ever since Covid-19 reared its ugly head, I now find myself on the brink of my first virtual meeting. This is all thanks to an invitation to join the Nottingham & Notts Phorographic Society, an offer I just couldn’t refuse as I’ve been missing photography for quite a long time now.
I have registered for my first meeting, got a bright blue link in anticipation and, on Tuesday evening, I’ll settle down with a large glass of Sauvignon Blanc and wait to see what happens. Fingers crossed for me.
Posted on January 2, 2021
Back in the days when we could go out and about without a care in the world, I had a three hour studio session booked with Hannah, my favourite model (and also my grand-daughter). I had quite a few different scenarios in my mind and decided to buy a dress off eBay for some of them. My eyes lit on this beautiful red dress with multi-frills on the skirt, a nipped in waist and a sprinkling of sparkles. Perfect! I just knew it would look fantastic on Hannah (I was right) and ordered it. Imagine my horror when it arrived in an A4 envelope, the material was nearly as thin as tissue paper and the whole thing was crushed beyond recognition.
When I tell you that I haven’t used an iron in over thirty years, you can understand why my first impulse was to throw it in the bin and put it down to experience. However, I set the ironing board up (well, Jan set it up. I didn’t know how to do it.) and spent a whole afternoon pressing the creases out of it. On the way to the studio, the dress had two seats all to itself as I was paranoid about it getting creased again.
Anyway, it photographed beautifully and I was delighted with the results. I still have quite a few frames from the day to work on so, hopefully, if my photographic mojo ever comes back I’ll revisit them.
The dress? I left it at the studio for another model to wear on another day. And I haven’t touched an iron since.
Left: Don’t Look Back. Right: The Party’s Over.
Posted on January 1, 2021
We had planned to have a drive out today, secure in our in-car bubble, to see what birds we could spot. The first rain spots hit the windscreen as we drove off and, while never progressing to heavy rain, persisted enough to spoil any chance of decent photographs. We confined ourselves to a local tootle and managed to see a little egret, a few magpies and crows, a handful of sparrows and a small flock of black-headed gulls. So, I have rooted through the archives to show you what might have been.
I forgot the male pheasant we saw in a field near Holme Pierrepont, so he gets a frame all to himself. I think he deserves it as he’s very handsome.