To Have and to Hold by Helen Chandler

Becoming a mother, and trying to be the best mother she could, had been such a steep learning curve that it hadn't really left much room for anything else.


Title - To Have and to Hold
Author - Helen Chandler 
Publication Date - May 8th 2014
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton 
Format - eBook

The blurb

From the outside, Ella has the happy marriage, the cute kids and the comfortable home - inside, she craves something more. But giving in to temptation will stir up a whole heap of trouble...

Imogen's relationship with Pete was once fun and carefree but since they've become parents, everything is different. Then an accident provides the catalyst for a life-changing decision. 

Fifteen-year-old Phoebe is miserable at home and at school. And now her dad, who was always her ally, seems completely distracted by something - or someone. Maybe it's time Phoebe took a stand, and took control of her own life. 

As Ella, Imogen and Phoebe contemplate taking the biggest risk of their lives, marriages, families and friendships hang in the balance. Should they take the leap, or will they risk losing everything? 

Becca's thoughts 

Firstly, a huge thank you to the publishers Hodder & Stoughton for providing me with a copy of To Have and to Hold by Helen Chandler to review via Net Galley. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

To Have and to Hold by Helen Chandler was one of those beautifully written stories where the author manages to weave together the lives of their characters. At one point or another, each character steps into or over the path of another, and no matter how many times I read a book where this wonderful technique is used, it never fails to astound me. There is something extra-special and magical about watching the lives of fictional characters entwine around each other. I don't know what it is but I just absolutely adore it. Helen Chandler did an exceptional job of this and I will forever love her style of writing for that. Unfortunately for me, this is the first book by Helen that I have read but I plan on adding her first book to my ever-growing to-read pile because that one also sounds fabulous and right up my street. 

In To Have and to Hold, the reader is introduced to a number of interesting and very like-able characters. Ella, Imogen and Phoebe are the three main characters that I felt the story evolved around. Each of these characters lead very different lives, whether that be being a mother, being a wife or being a troubled teenager, and it was fantastic reading about each of them. Helen managed to jump between these wonderful females without leaving me feeling lost or confused as to which character I was currently with and what was happening to them at the time. Sometimes, when reading a book that is written in this ever-changing way, I can sometimes end up feeling a little confused and I have to back-pedal a few pages to figure out where I'm at, but whilst reading To Have and to Hold, I didn't once feel that way. It flowed smoothly and was well-put together. I adored it. 

For Helen's characters in To Have and to Hold, there are a lot of twists and turns that come their way. I loved the drama of it all, the consequences of each character's actions somehow paving the way to where they would all end up in the end. The only thing that was on my mind whilst reading was one word... Family. Because that, to me, was what To Have and To Hold seemed to revolve around. Marriage, children, problems between partners etc. Helen did an exceptional job of bringing these problems to light and I really loved the way she accomplished that. I felt incredibly involved in where the characters were heading, and felt like shrieking when I saw the different problems and catastrophes arising for each of them. It's safe to say that Helen has created within her book a whirlwind of emotions, drama and upheaval. I loved it. Every single page had me chewing my lip in anticipation as to what was going to happen next. 

Becca's Books is giving To Have and To Hold by Helen Chandler 5 glittering gold stars. An emotional explosion that went right off in my chest. 

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