From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes a story that asks: what would you risk for a shot at happiness?
1984. Bessie is a confident sixteen-year-old girl with the world at her feet, dreaming of what life will bring and what she’ll bring to this life. Then everything comes crashing down. Her bright and trusting smile is lost, banished by shame—and a secret she’ll carry with her for the rest of her life.
2021. The last thirty-seven years have not been easy for Bess. At fifty-three she is visibly weary, and her marriage to Mario is in tatters. Watching her son in newlywed bliss—the hope, the trust, the joy—Bess knows it is time to face her own demons, and try to save her relationship. But she’ll have to throw off the burden of shame if she is to honour that sixteen-year-old girl whose dreams lie frozen in time.
Can Bess face her past, finally come clean to Mario, and claim the love she has longed to fully experience all these years?
We get to know Bessie between alternating chapters in the past and present. In the past, we meet a carefree teenager with big plans for the future. In the future, things are not how she imagined them to be and something from the past is eating her up inside which is taking it’s toll on her marriage.
I loved the chapters in the past with the closeness of Bessie and her best friend. It reminded me of what it was like to be young with so many hopes and dreams. Bessie’s family are just wonderful and it was so heart-warming to read. It’s her parents that bring the humour into this book. So many things they come out with had me laughing. Having an older brother myself, I especially loved the bond between Bessie and her brother Philip. Again, it was so endearing to read.
It saddened me to read the present chapters. The feisty, fun loving girl from the past couldn’t be any further from the woman in the future. So many times I wanted to reach in and give Bessie a great big hug. I was eager to see what had happened in the past to see why this woman had lost sight of all that was good in her life.
Waiting to Begin was an emotional roller coaster of a read. There is humour, warmth, sadness but also hope within the pages of this story. In some respects it’s about letting things go. There is definitely a lesson to be learned from Bessie’s story and if anything it left me feeling uplifted. A gorgeous heartfelt read that will have you laughing and crying!