EXCERPT: I aimlessly flipped through the pages, running my eyes over articles on the latest summer trends and celeb weddings. Reading this newspaper made me feel like an alien from another planet. Who were these people, and why would I care? I was just about to fold it up and push it away from me when a tiny box advert in the classifieds caught my eye. The text leaped out at me, each word hammering my eyes.
I am always with you.
I will always be here.
My heart pounded and everything inside me went cold. The words echoed in my mind, growing larger and larger until they pressed on my skull. Images of my mother holding me close each night as she whispered those same ten words clawed and scratched at my soul, demanding entry, and I shoved the paper away from me.
I sat frozen for a minute, forcing air in and out of my lungs as I batted away those memories. Then I let out a little laugh. God, how silly was I? It was just ten words.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: I am always with you. I will always be here.
This was the promise Ella’s mother betrayed thirty years ago when she walked into the sea, leaving her five-year-old daughter alone in the world. Ella’s been angry ever since, building up a wall to protect herself. But that all changes the day she opens a newspaper and finds those ten little words printed in a classified ad.
Ella refuses to believe her mother could still be alive—that would mean she did want to live, just not with her daughter. So she throws herself into finding out exactly what happened all those years ago, determined to extinguish even the tiniest flame of hope—for Ella, hope is torture.
But rather than settling things once and for all, what Ella discovers shatters her world. As she pieces together the truth behind her mother’s disappearance, she learns that the words are not what she thought.
Now she knows the truth. Is it possible that Ella can allow herself to love—and be loved—once again?
MY THOUGHTS: In Ten Little Words author Leah Mercer addresses the issue of abandonment and it’s psychological effects on those left behind.
Ella’s mother Jude, suffering from a severe depression following a traumatic event, walks into the ocean when Ella is five and is never seen again.
Told over two timelines from the perspectives of Ella in the present and Jude in the early 1980s, we discover what led Jude to abandon her small daughter to the care of her childless older sister and her husband, and the effects of that abandonment on Ella’s life.
Ten Little Words is a story that grew on me as I read. It’s a quick and easy read, with a little mystery and romance and, although it is a tad predictable in places and everything is tied up rather neatly at the end, it is a satisfying and enjoyable read.
THE AUTHOR: Leah can’t remember a time when she didn’t love writing. From creating fake newspapers to writing letters to the editor, scribbling something was always on the agenda. Even the rejections she received after completing her first novel at age 13 didn’t dent her enthusiasm.
So it makes sense, then, that she pursued a career in anything but writing. Public relations, teaching, recruitment, editing medical journals — even a stint painting houses — until she finally succumbed once more to the lure of the blank page.
When she’s not being jumped on by her young son or burning supper while thinking of plot-lines, Leah can be found furiously tapping away on her laptop, trying not to check Twitter or Facebook.
Leah also writes romantic comedies under the name Talli Roland.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Amazon Publishing UK via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Ten Little Words by Leah Mercer for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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