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You'll Never See Me Again

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You'll Never See Me Again PDF, ePub eBook THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AND WOMAN & HOME BEST BOOKS OF SUMMER Did you ever wish you could run away from your life and start again? When Betty's husband returns from the war broken and haunted, she knows her marriage is doomed.Taking a fleeting chance to escape, she goes on the run armed with a new identity.But penniless and alone, Betty quickly finds that starting again is much harder than she thought.And shthought.Andidentity.Butdoomed.Taking THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AND WOMAN & HOME BEST BOOKS OF SUMMER Did you ever wish you could run away from your life and start again? When Betty's husband returns from the war broken and haunted, she knows her marriage is doomed.Taking a fleeting chance to escape, she goes on the run armed with a new identity.But penniless and alone, Betty quickly finds that starting again is much harder than she thought.And she never imagined it could end in murder . . . Sometimes you have to keep running if you want to survive. Praise for Lesley Pearse: 'Storytelling at its very best' Daily Mail 'Evocative, compelling, told from the heart' Sunday Express 'Glorious, heart-warming' Woman & Home

30 review for You'll Never See Me Again

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    Betty Wellows, is a fisherman’s daughter who has lived her whole life in the little fishing hamlet of Hallsands in Devon. Her husband Martin has recently returned from the horrors of World War One’s trenches on The Somme. However, the personality who returned isn’t the one who went away - the terrible events that he witnessed have left him terrified at the slightest noise, and he appears not to recognise his loved ones - it’s clear that he’s suffering from shell shock, or what is more commonly k Betty Wellows, is a fisherman’s daughter who has lived her whole life in the little fishing hamlet of Hallsands in Devon. Her husband Martin has recently returned from the horrors of World War One’s trenches on The Somme. However, the personality who returned isn’t the one who went away - the terrible events that he witnessed have left him terrified at the slightest noise, and he appears not to recognise his loved ones - it’s clear that he’s suffering from shell shock, or what is more commonly known these days as PTSD. Martin’s mother Agnes insists on looking after him, and the couple move in with her and Martin’s grandfather, but she’s spiteful and cruel towards Betty. One night, a storm that is unprecedented threatens to destroy the houses nearest the seashore including Betty and Martin’s, so Agnes insists that Betty goes to retrieve whatever belongings she can. As Betty reaches the house, she only just manages to get out of the house before the sea claims it and she believes Agnes sent her in the hope that she would be killed. Betty decides to leave her miserable life behind and leaves her home without telling anyone, in the hope that they’ll all think she was drowned during the dreadful storm. She does however feel guilty about leaving Martin, but she knows he doesn’t recognise her as his wife, and even though Agnes treated her badly, she knows that she loves her son and will care for him in a sympathetic manner. From here on in Betty decides to call herself Mabel Brook as she seeks a new life where she can be free to be whatever and whoever she wants to be. She’s about to start on the biggest adventure of her life, one that’s not only fraught with difficulties, but also with much happier events alongside This was beautifully written and the time period in which it was set added extra dimension and interest. Mabel was a great character, one who you rooted for, although secondary characters were equally as interesting, and were so well described that it was as if they were acquaintances. The storyline was tense and full of emotion, and I liked the fact that Mabel discovered that she had the ability to communicate with the dead after a traumatic event - that certainly gave it a push into another direction altogether. From trials and tribulations to gloriously happy times - it was a joy to share each and every one of them with Mabel Brook! *Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin UK - Michael Joseph for my ARC. I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange *

  2. 4 out of 5

    sue

    When I start one of these authors books I know I’m going to be in for a treat. I discovered Lesley Pearse books when I was in my late 20’s, way before I had the Internet, way before I wrote reviews and way before I became a blogger. I used the local library a lot and would preorder each of her books as soon as I knew of their release. Today, I just “one click” it. I never have to think twice it’s an automatic purchase. Now to the book. I’m not about to spoil the plot but as all When I start one of these authors books I know I’m going to be in for a treat. I discovered Lesley Pearse books when I was in my late 20’s, way before I had the Internet, way before I wrote reviews and way before I became a blogger. I used the local library a lot and would preorder each of her books as soon as I knew of their release. Today, I just “one click” it. I never have to think twice it’s an automatic purchase. Now to the book. I’m not about to spoil the plot but as all fans know, there is always much more depth to one of these authors stories. Mabel is the main character, she wasn’t always called “Mabel” and you will see how and why almost right at the beginning. This is set around 1914 onwards. Men were going off to war, youngsters going off to fight for their Country and many returning home injured. Mabel’s husband one of them. The twist is there where Mabel has to “runaway” and from there we follow her. It’s not an easy life. The characters she makes friends with along the way and things that happen in her life were sometimes great, other times tragedy would strike. There is romance and romance that cannot come to anything. Mabel has to return home. She hears something she needs to confirm and if it’s true, she has a great sense of honesty and justice. I really loved Mabel. We all need someone like her in our lives. The characters are so well developed that they become part of your life as you read this. It’s intense. You are rooting for different individuals and shocked and appalled by other scenes. This will stay with me long after I put this book on my shelf. Like I say, Lesley Pearse is an expert at bringing out fictional characters who could indeed existed in reality. I just have to give this 5*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Betty lived with her father in a small village. Her mum had died when she was just eight years old. Her dad was a fisherman who worked on a boat. When Betty was fourteen she met MARTIN and fell in love. She married him when she was sixteen. Betty's father had been washed overboard, lost at sea. Then war broke out and Martin felt it was his duty to sign up. But when Martin returned home, he was shell shocked. He goes to stay with his mother, Agnes, who is a bully. The night there is a massive sto Betty lived with her father in a small village. Her mum had died when she was just eight years old. Her dad was a fisherman who worked on a boat. When Betty was fourteen she met MARTIN and fell in love. She married him when she was sixteen. Betty's father had been washed overboard, lost at sea. Then war broke out and Martin felt it was his duty to sign up. But when Martin returned home, he was shell shocked. He goes to stay with his mother, Agnes, who is a bully. The night there is a massive storm, Betty makes a rash decision, she decides to,leave her husband behind. Hoping Martin and Agnes would believe that she has been swept away by the sea. Betty changes her name to Mabel and her new life and adventure begins. I am a huge fan of Lesley Pearse, her books never disappoint. The book is easy to read as its so well written. The story covers Mabel's new life and the people who befriend her along the way. There is a lot of sadness and joy along the way. Lesley once again has written a fabulous story that fans old and new will love. I highly recommend this book. I would like to thank NetGalley, Penguin UK - Michael Joseph and the author Lesley Pearse for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    sue

    When I start one of these authors books I know I’m going to be in for a treat. I discovered Lesley Pearse books when I was in my late 20’s, way before I had the Internet, way before I wrote reviews and way before I became a blogger. I used the local library a lot and would preorder each of her books as soon as I knew of their release. Today, I just “one click” it. I never have to think twice it’s an automatic purchase. Now to the book. I’m not abo When I start one of these authors books I know I’m going to be in for a treat. I discovered Lesley Pearse books when I was in my late 20’s, way before I had the Internet, way before I wrote reviews and way before I became a blogger. I used the local library a lot and would preorder each of her books as soon as I knew of their release. Today, I just “one click” it. I never have to think twice it’s an automatic purchase. Now to the book. I’m not about to spoil the plot but as all fans know, there is always much more depth to one of these authors stories. Mabel is the main character, she wasn’t always called “Mabel” and you will see how and why almost right at the beginning. This is set around 1914 onwards. Men were going off to war, youngsters going off to fight for their Country and many returning home injured. Mabel’s husband one of them. The twist is there where Mabel has to “runaway” and from there we follow her. It’s not an easy life. The characters she makes friends with along the way and things that happen in her life were sometimes great, other times tragedy would strike. There is romance and romance that cannot come to anything. Mabel has to return home. She hears something she needs to confirm and if it’s true, she has a great sense of honesty and justice. I really loved Mabel. We all need someone like her in our lives. The characters are so well developed that they become part of your life as you read this. It’s intense. You are rooting for different individuals and shocked and appalled by other scenes. This will stay with me long after I put this book on my shelf. Like I say, Lesley Pearse is an expert at bringing out fictional characters who could indeed existed in reality. I just have to give this 5*

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Lesley Pearse has written another beautifully written, heartfelt story. This time it involves Betty a daughter of a fisherman, living in the town on Hallsands, near Plymouth. Married to Martin and living with their Mother in law Agnes. Martin came back France from the war with not just a severely damaged leg but, also a broken shell of the man she once knew. So, Betty worked not only to look after her husband Martin but to help Agnes. A great storm was brewing, and the threat of her home be Lesley Pearse has written another beautifully written, heartfelt story. This time it involves Betty a daughter of a fisherman, living in the town on Hallsands, near Plymouth. Married to Martin and living with their Mother in law Agnes. Martin came back France from the war with not just a severely damaged leg but, also a broken shell of the man she once knew. So, Betty worked not only to look after her husband Martin but to help Agnes. A great storm was brewing, and the threat of her home being swept away by the sea because of shingle being taken away. Agnes advises her to collect some belongings. The storm is so bad outside that Betty thinks Agnes wishes her dead. So, Betty runs away and reinvents herself as Mabel Brook so she can have a better life and get away from an overbearing mother in law. On the way she meets lots different characters, some good, some bad and always there to help other people more than herself. This is another 5-star read from Lesley Pearce. The author doesn’t disappoint. I loved this from the very first page. There is lots of twists and turn and ups and downward struggles in this book but, a very satisfying ending. I don’t want to give anymore away. You will have to read it yourself. Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Michael Joseph for a copy of this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Lesley Pearse returns with her best and most compelling novel to date. Her books are always so full of heart and emotion whilst also dishing out suspense and excitement for the reader to simply lap up. The story revolves around Betty and Martin Wellows who are married but Martin's mother, and Betty's mother-in-law, Agnes, loves to interfere; this makes her the famed mother-in-law from hell. Agnes makes Betty depressed and anxious as they live together, all three, in the house due to Martin retur Lesley Pearse returns with her best and most compelling novel to date. Her books are always so full of heart and emotion whilst also dishing out suspense and excitement for the reader to simply lap up. The story revolves around Betty and Martin Wellows who are married but Martin's mother, and Betty's mother-in-law, Agnes, loves to interfere; this makes her the famed mother-in-law from hell. Agnes makes Betty depressed and anxious as they live together, all three, in the house due to Martin returning shell shocked from war and needing care. When Betty gets the opportunity to escape away from the toxic atmosphere at home she takes it. She changes her name and starts her life over. Yet very soon she will have to return to the nightmare she left behind. This is a solid, emotive read and there's never a dull moment or any filler. I was captivated from the start and Pearse has absolutely no problem keeping your attention throughout. She is a terrific storyteller who has created a cast of likeable and very relatable characters and the twists and turns are unpredictable and well thought out. This is an engrossing yarn but once picked up, be warned, you'll be reading right to the denouement to find out what actually happens to Betty. After all the negative incidents that happen she deserves to find happiness; therefore I was very happy when we got a positive ending. I've read every one of Pearse's books and this blows the others out of the water. She seems to excel with every novel. Many thanks to Michael Joseph for an ARC.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com You’ll Never See Me Again is the stirring new novel from bestselling author Lesley Pearse. A tale of secrets, survival, love, sacrifice, status and hardship, You’ll Never See Me Again enthralls from the first page, to the final parting words of this absorbing historical novel. You’ll Never See Me Again introduces the reader to Betty, a young woman who resides in the seaside locale of Hallsands. Betty’s husband was onc *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com You’ll Never See Me Again is the stirring new novel from bestselling author Lesley Pearse. A tale of secrets, survival, love, sacrifice, status and hardship, You’ll Never See Me Again enthralls from the first page, to the final parting words of this absorbing historical novel. You’ll Never See Me Again introduces the reader to Betty, a young woman who resides in the seaside locale of Hallsands. Betty’s husband was once a seafaring man until the Great War robbed him of his life. Betty’s husband survived the war, but he is just a shell of the man he once was. Ravaged by the mental and physical scars of war, he is no longer the man Betty married. With her marriage lost, Betty’s life is made even more unbearable by the presence of her wicked mother in law. When Hallsands is struck by a devastating storm, Betty is deliberately thrust into danger by her mother in law. Betty decides to take the opportunity to vanish from her painful life. Betty secretly flees to the confines of Bristol, a larger city, far from home. Betty drops her name and reinvents herself as Mrs Mabel Brook, a war widow. Betty/Mabel tries to hide under the cover of her new employ, but disaster strikes and she is dealt with a huge blow. Mabel is rescued by a kind stranger who nurses her back to health. Mabel’s time with Nora, the woman who helped her, puts her in touch with a unique gift. Mabel discovers she can converse with the dead, and it is a shocking realisation that has her reeling. When Mabel decides to leave Nora’s side and go her own way, she meets some important figures who will shape her destiny. However, Mabel continues to carry the heavy burden of her former life as Betty, which she must keep under wraps. When a message from the past becomes too strong to ignore, Mabel must make the dreadful trek back home… with surprising, as well as heartbreaking results. In terms of historical fiction, Lesley Pearse is one of the best. Her engaging plots, detailed historical backgrounds and memorable characters make each book she releases a genuine delight to read. I consider myself a loyal fan of Lesley Pearse. I do still have fair few books in her back catalogue to catch up on, but I always look forward to her annual new release. I rate You’ll Never See Me Again to be the best title I have read from this author. This proves that Lesley Pearse is a writer who seems to get better which each new book she releases. You’ll Never See Me Again is a book I can easily award five stars to, it was simply an amazing read. It hooked me in from the every opening scene, and I found I could not draw myself away for even a minute to make myself a cup of tea! That’s a big indication of how much I enjoyed this novel! I really loved the lead character in the book, Betty – who also becomes Mabel. She experienced so much unhappiness, disappointment and hardship, yet she toiled on. Betty is character who demonstrates strength in the face of adversity. Betty is determined to do good in the world, and she cannot forgive herself for abandoning her husband. It is a secret she keeps very close to her chest for the majority of the novel. I did wonder at times just how much heartbreak Pearse could issue her main character with, but it seemed to work in this storyline. I held on for dear life at many points of the novel, my physical grip on this novel was so hard at times, I could feel the tension seething through my bones! However, after a big story, defined by plenty of trying moments, Betty redeems herself and I’ll stop there for fear of breaking into spoiler territory. There were many shining star moments in this book that work to lift You’ll Never See Me Again to great heights. For me, my love of this book came from two main areas. The first was the depiction of the historical time period. Pearse did an absolutely outstanding job of recreating the years of the Great War. Everything that followed around the time period was displayed with immense clarity, authenticity and attention to detail. From the food restrictions, to the fashions, general customs and much more. Pearse more than adequately conveys the problems that defined this time. The racism directed towards the Germans, the soldiers returning home left ravaged by PTSD and physical injuries/deformities, the push for women to take on men’s role in their absence, the lack of welfare and the sheer helplessness of some on the poverty line. There is also a full account of the Spanish Flu epidemic, which is one of the most comprehensive and heartbreaking versions of this devastating time that I have come across. I’d like to thank Lesley Pearse for this aspect of the novel. The true highlight of this book has to be in the characterisation, with special mention to the figure of Carsten, a German POW who works as a gardener for Betty/Mabel’s employer. Carsten was such a memorable and loveable character. I know I won’t forget him in a hurry. He occupied a big place in my heart. Lastly, I want to mention that Lesley Pearse does branch off on a thread involving the supernatural. This is a little different for her, but be rest assured, the theme is perfectly matched to the lead and her journey. Knowing a little bit about the context of this time period and the desperation experienced by those who lost their loved ones in the war, this was an excellent sub theme. I felt it was portrayed extremely well and I enjoyed the experience of following this aspect of Betty/Mabel’s life. There is just so much more I could continue to comment on, but I am conscious that my review of You’ll Never See Me Again may never see an end point! To cut a long story short, I loved this book and I can state, without hesitation, that this is the greatest novel penned by Lesley Pearse – to date. Magnificent! *I wish to thank Penguin Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Smith

    I’m quite partial to Lesley Pearse’s historical fiction. It’s reminiscent of past favourites Catherine Cookson and Josephine Cox: stories of strong women overcoming adversity and forging new paths for themselves against a backdrop of British history. You’ll Never See Me Again was an engaging read from start to finish. Betty/Mabel was a kind-hearted and considerate woman, and in a moment of extreme anguish and fear, she makes a decision to disappear from her existing life and begins another. I’m quite partial to Lesley Pearse’s historical fiction. It’s reminiscent of past favourites Catherine Cookson and Josephine Cox: stories of strong women overcoming adversity and forging new paths for themselves against a backdrop of British history. You’ll Never See Me Again was an engaging read from start to finish. Betty/Mabel was a kind-hearted and considerate woman, and in a moment of extreme anguish and fear, she makes a decision to disappear from her existing life and begins another. This decision is not without consequence for Mabel and it weighs on her heavily, never really leaving her conscience. Even long after she’s settled into her new life, a situation unfolds where she is faced with a moral dilemma that puts her new life at risk and she acts unselfishly by returning to the home she fled to help a person who really doesn’t deserve Mabel’s consideration. As far as characters go, Mabel was well fleshed out, not without her flaws but infused with a sense of morality that served her well on many occasions. The novel is set against the backdrop of the Great War in regional England. It deals with many themes: soldiers returning with shell shock; the Spanish flu epidemic; the changing class dynamics; and the discontent associated with the large numbers of German soldiers kept in POW camps in the countryside. There’s a shocking scene of hatred in which a man receives the telegram to let him know of his son’s death and he reacts by brutally attacking a German prisoner working on his farm. It’s one of those moments that steal your breath: the volatility of grief and having the enemy on your doorstep, working your land in the way that your son should be. It was such a clear moment of trauma within the story and handled very well within the context of the times in which the story was set. This was a time of social change throughout England, yet much of it was out of necessity rather than progression, which was still to come. Justice wasn’t always aligned with the crime, not just in the above example in the case of the farmer, but again, later in the novel, when Mabel herself is brutally attacked. She is discouraged by the police and counselled to just quietly get on with her life lest she make herself look bad by pressing charges. Another area touched on was the notion of spiritual mediums hosting large-scale communions with the dead. England had never seen such loss, men dead from the war and even more people dying from Spanish flu. I thought this was an interesting angle to introduce into the story, less about whether you believe in this sort of thing or not and more about the morality of taking money to ease people’s suffering by providing them with messages from their dearly departed. It certainly seemed like a profitable industry. I liked how Mabel grappled with her unwanted talent in this area. So, there were certainly a lot of themes explored with some depth throughout this novel. It’s a very busy story but it all moves along and comes together in the end quite well. The second half of the novel put me in mind of Downton Abbey, just the setting, era, and issues, along with some of the characters, sans the opulence and wealth. I really enjoyed this one and I recommend it highly to fans of historical fiction set during WWI with a focus on life on the home front and the changing social issues of the era. Thanks is extended to Penguin Random House Australia for providing me with a copy of You’ll Never See Me Again for review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Beadyjan

    Lesley Pearse has created another superbly entertaining book with a very engaging heroine in Betty/ Mabel who I couldn't help rooting for. Have things ever got so bad for you that you wish you could just run away from your life and start again? Well, that's what happens to Betty Wellows. The daughter of a fisherman, she lives in a small coastal hamlet, where her husband has returned from world war one a shaken shell of an invalid who never speaks, doesn't recognise his wife and needs Lesley Pearse has created another superbly entertaining book with a very engaging heroine in Betty/ Mabel who I couldn't help rooting for. Have things ever got so bad for you that you wish you could just run away from your life and start again? Well, that's what happens to Betty Wellows. The daughter of a fisherman, she lives in a small coastal hamlet, where her husband has returned from world war one a shaken shell of an invalid who never speaks, doesn't recognise his wife and needs 24 hour care and spoon feeding. Bettys Mother in law Agnes is a harsh harridan from hell who detests her daughter in law and makes every second of her life a misery. The only escape Betty has is her late fathers tumbledown old cottage. When this is being demolished by a ferocious storm Agnes pushes Betty to go and get her belongings despite it being extremely dangerous. In a split second Betty decides she's had enough and decides to run seizing the chance of escape. Ending up in Bristol things at first get worse for her. Changing her name to Mabel she finds work and tentatively makes new friends. Gradually we see her take control of her new life, nevertheless always looking over her shoulder in the fear of being found out, The world thinks she perished in the sea as her old home was swept away, but she lived to battle on and this is the story of her new life. Lesley Pearse has, as always, created some wonderful characters, put them in desperate situations and made me believe their stories with all my heart. Mabel has to face some truly terrible awful events yet for every dreadful person she meets there is another who is wonderful. I was rapt in her story from start to finish, and when she finds someone else to love who is cruelly taken from her in a dreadful way I thought she was destined to be alone forever. Pure escapism and a joy to read, I wholeheartedly recommend this lovely novel by this deservedly acclaimed author.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melisa Broadbent

    Only my second Lesley Pearse book but definitely not my last. The author writes such a beautiful yet haunting story that you can't help but be captivated by every word she writes along with her strong willed character that has you rooting for her from the first page. I can't wait to read more.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mairead Hearne (swirlandthread.com)

    Lesley Pearse is a much-loved storyteller for many reasons. In the UK alone a Lesley Pearse book is purchased EVERY 4 minutes, with her tales packed with characters that her readers truly care about. ‘There is no formula to her books or easily defined genre…she always engages the reader completely’ You’ll Never See Me Again is the 27th novel from this most gifted and prolific of writers and was published in hardback on 27th June with Michael Joseph. (Also now available in digital and audio formats, with the pap/>You’ll Lesley Pearse is a much-loved storyteller for many reasons. In the UK alone a Lesley Pearse book is purchased EVERY 4 minutes, with her tales packed with characters that her readers truly care about. ‘There is no formula to her books or easily defined genre…she always engages the reader completely’ You’ll Never See Me Again is the 27th novel from this most gifted and prolific of writers and was published in hardback on 27th June with Michael Joseph. (Also now available in digital and audio formats, with the paperback edition due March 2020.) You’ll Never See Me Again is described as ‘a tale of one woman’s fight to find her destiny….heart-pounding, exhilarating and ever suspenseful' In true Lesley Pearse form, the reader is immediately captivated and transported to another era. It’s 1917 on a very rough night in Devon. The folk of Hallsands are preparing to battle a raging storm that is on their doorsteps. A small fishing village with few inhabitants, the water is their livelihood, but at times like this it is also their enemy. As the winds roar and the rains batter the village, Betty Wellows is taking refuge with her mother-in-law, Agnes, and her husband, Martin. Martin was the love of Betty’s life. As teenagers their relationship blossomed until the inevitable marriage took place. Betty had lived with her beloved father. Following the tragic death of her mother, she kept house from a very young age, she fished with him, she tried to fill that missing gap in his life but she could never replace her mother. Martin moved in with them following their marriage, away from the poisonous tongue of his own mother and times were happy for the three. But life can be cruel and over the years Betty lost, first her beloved father, Bert, followed by the return from the First World War of Martin, no longer the man she fell in love with. Martin’s shell-shock and mental condition meant that he no longer recognised Betty, leaving her at the end of her wits and subject to the constant bullying and bitterness of Agnes. On that stormy night in 1917, Agnes sent Betty out to her own cottage to collect her belongings but Betty was afraid. The weather was, by now, treacherous, leaving Betty very concerned for her own safety. ‘The front door of her cottage was bent like cardboard from the barrage of seawater, partially split by the force of the wind and hurled shingle. As Betty pushed it open, it fell drunkenly inwards on the stone floor. Three or four inches of water had already flooded in, lying there dark and still, a dank smell reaching her nostrils. Betty had taken the two fireside chairs and the rug upstairs before she had left on the previous day, in the hope that the storm would blow itself out. Yet she had sensed even then, as all her neighbours had, that there would be no reprieve this time. Maybe last night’s high tide hadn’t destroyed their homes, but a second extremely high tide and a bad storm would mean that by tomorrow morning the walls and windows would be gone, the furniture floating out to sea.’ In that moment Betty made a decision that would change the course of her life forever. She packed a bag and escaped into the darkness of the night, away from the man she no longer recognised and away from the woman who had terrorised her for years, away from Tern Cottage. ‘"You’ll never see me again” she said aloud, looking towards Tern Cottage. “May God forgive me for doing something so wicked. But you are to blame, Agnes Wellows!”' Betty makes her way to Bristol where she changes her name to Mabel Brook. But Mabel is soon out of her depth in this loud and strange city and is brutally attacked, prey for the hardened folk who have suffered their own injustices. Mabel finds comfort in the care of a local psychic and over time comes to realise that she too has a power, an ability to communicate with the dead. Mabel begins an incredible journey of hardship, tragedy, friendship and love. She witnesses first hand the animosity toward German POWs during the Great War and the ravages of the Spanish Flu. She educates herself over the years and recognises the class barriers that still exist in the early 20th century. She is exposed to trauma and passion, fear and death. But Mabel is determined and strong, she is fierce in everything she does, not letting the past forever cloud her future. Until one day, she receives a message, one she cannot ignore…… You’ll Never See Me Again is another sweeping tale from Lesley Pearse that just immediately captures the reader, drawing you into the life and hardships of this tenacious and strong-willed young woman. Historical fiction always fascinates me and Lesley Pearse brings a very strong sense of time and place to her writing. You’ll Never See Me Again is packed with a cast of wonderfully portrayed characters, all adding to the overall sense of drama and suspense. It is a beautifully executed tale and most definitely another accomplished novel from this No.1 global bestselling author.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Danby

    When a character in a film says ‘never’ it’s a sign that the impossible thing will definitely happen before the end. Such is the title of the new novel from Lesley Pearse, ‘You’ll Never See Me Again’. It is 1917 and a storm is thrashing the Devon coast at Hallsands. Betty Wellows is with her shell-shocked husband Martin at his mother’s home, safely up the cliffs. Martin no longer recognises Betty, he is a different man from the fisherman who went to war. Betty is working all hours to support her When a character in a film says ‘never’ it’s a sign that the impossible thing will definitely happen before the end. Such is the title of the new novel from Lesley Pearse, ‘You’ll Never See Me Again’. It is 1917 and a storm is thrashing the Devon coast at Hallsands. Betty Wellows is with her shell-shocked husband Martin at his mother’s home, safely up the cliffs. Martin no longer recognises Betty, he is a different man from the fisherman who went to war. Betty is working all hours to support her husband and his mother, putting up with insults, petty grievances, grief for the loss of her husband. As the storm becomes wild and dangerous, Agnes instructs her daughter-in-law to go to her own house beside the beach to rescue her belongings from the flood. Afraid, Betty escapes the older woman’s abuse and runs into the storm. As the waves crash into her home, Betty realises this is her chance to escape Hallsands, Agnes and Martin. The dramatic opening grabbed my attention and my emotions. Betty is trapped in a life of poverty with a husband who no longer recognises her and a mother-in-law who takes her money and treats her like a skivvy. When she has the chance to escape, Betty takes it. I spent the whole novel chewing over Betty’s dilemma; was she right to run, should she have stayed. Pearse maintains this dilemma throughout the book as Betty goes to Bristol where she changes her name to Mrs Mabel Brook, a widow. ‘You’ll Never See Me Again’ is the story of how a lone woman in the middle of the Great War is able to strive to improve her lot in life. Mabel suffers setbacks, encounters thieves and frauds, and sheds copious tears. There are moments where her life seems to have reached a settled, easier place; but, of course, more trauma lies ahead. This is a cleverly plotted book that kept me guessing to the end. Mabel at times is her own worst enemy, and she finds it difficult to accept help. Then she accidentally discovers a talent she never knew she had. When she moves to Dorchester, Dorset, to be a live-in servant/housekeeper for illustrator Miss Clara May, Mabel’s life takes a new turn. Nearby is a prisoner of war camp and one of the inmates, Carsten, looks after Clara’s garden. Carsten and Mabel fall into a state of mutual liking when Spanish flu strikes at the camp; afraid for Carsten’s health, Mabel volunteers as a nurse. Mabel ran away from Hallsands to be free, but her past travels with her. Finally she must confront her origins in order to move on with her life. Mabel has a strong sense of honesty and justice, which sounds odd given the way she ran away in chapter one. But she is unselfish, never turning away from difficult decisions and transforming herself in a short space of time into a beautiful, assured woman that her neighbours at Hallsands would not recognise. Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-revie...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lainy

    Time time taken to read - in and out over 4 days Pages - 400 Publisher - Penguin Source - From a fellow bookworm Blurb from Goodreads Betty Wellows is running for her life . . . Young Betty dreams of settling down to an ordinary life in Hallsands with her fisherman husband. But when he returns broken and haunted from the Great War, she finds herself persecuted by his distraught mother - and yearns to escape. It is only when a storm devastates the villa Time time taken to read - in and out over 4 days Pages - 400 Publisher - Penguin Source - From a fellow bookworm Blurb from Goodreads Betty Wellows is running for her life . . . Young Betty dreams of settling down to an ordinary life in Hallsands with her fisherman husband. But when he returns broken and haunted from the Great War, she finds herself persecuted by his distraught mother - and yearns to escape. It is only when a storm devastates the village that Betty sees her chance. Fleeing to Bristol and changing her name to Mabel Brook, she seeks a new life - only to discover destiny has other plans. Penniless and alone, Mabel suffers a brutal attack before being rescued by a psychic named Nora Nightingale. She gets her first taste of those who receive messages from the dead and realizes she may have this power herself. But Mabel fears her gift may be a terrible curse as it becomes ever harder to hide from the truth about who she once was - and the tragic life she left behind. Soon Mabel receives her own message and is forced back to the very place she has escaped. A place of heartbreak and perhaps even murder - but to secure her future Mabel must confront her past one last time. My Review Betty is living under the hateful eye o her mother in law. Her husband is a shadow of the man he used to be after coming home hurt from war. Betty has an opportunity to flee and become Mabel leaving everything behind. A new village, a job and an eye opening to life outside the one she knew as Betty, Mabel meets danger, friends and love before being "called" back to where it all began. You can run but you cannot hide from your past, this is Betty's story. There is a lot going on in this wee book, the effects of war, working life, psychic's, love, friendship, love, loss! Pearse creates yet another world of characters that, like or hate, you get immersed in and want to know what is coming next. Some characters got me so riled, the way some people behave and others where a breath of fresh air. The thing with Pearse is she always creates worlds that shines a light on human behaviour, good and bad which makes for compelling reading. 3.5/5 for me this time, I need to check my read pile and see which books I still have to read of hers.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Abby Slater- Fairbrother

    I am a HUGE Lesley Pearse fangirl. My favourite title is Remember Me which covers the historical fleets of the convicts being shipped to Australia. I would urge anyone and everyone to read it. Especially if you are fans of TV shoes such as Banished or Jamestown which also deal with the theme of British Colonies. You’ll Never See Me Again deals with some incredibly deep and emotive issues but it is ultimately the story of the protagonist Betty Wellows later known as Mabel Brook. A titl I am a HUGE Lesley Pearse fangirl. My favourite title is Remember Me which covers the historical fleets of the convicts being shipped to Australia. I would urge anyone and everyone to read it. Especially if you are fans of TV shoes such as Banished or Jamestown which also deal with the theme of British Colonies. You’ll Never See Me Again deals with some incredibly deep and emotive issues but it is ultimately the story of the protagonist Betty Wellows later known as Mabel Brook. A title I have read lately of a similar summary would be Those Who Are loved by Victoria Hislop. Although this title is set along the Southern coasts of England. The novel opens in Devon 1917, with Betty battling with her forbidding mother-in-law Agnes. Betty’s husband and childhood sweetheart, Martin has returned from the great war, with severe shell shock and is no longer able to verbally communicate. Betty’s life is now being ran by matriarch Agnes. Whom controls every aspect of betty’s existence. ‘I don’t know what my son ever saw in you’ One Stormy evening, when Betty can’t take the verbal abuse anymore, she makes a rash decision to flee. Leaving behind her, her husband and her miserable life as Betty Fellows. Betty’s life story is explained and I really felt for the character, she had known so much heartache, so young. She is determined to start again, a new life, as Mabel Brook. ‘You’ll never see me again’ She ends up in Bristol, although she fears the big city life. The guest house of Mrs Halliwell’s is filled with warmth and kindness. But Mabel fears exposure, as local articles surface of her assumed dead back in Devon. ‘She’d thought she was heading for an adventure, something better than she had before, but it seemed it was going to be far worse’ Mabel moves around and in turn we are introduced to a wide variety of characters. I became quickly and happily wrapped up in the story of Mabel’s future and her quest to finally be free! ‘Holding bitterness inside you isn’t good for anyone’ Lesley Pearce is on fire, as always! 5*

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sue Plant

    would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this amazing book a story about a young girl growing up near the sea, falling in love, and marrying only to have her husband go to war and come back suffering from ptsd...only back then they didnt know what do with men suffering from the after effects of war... but betty/mabel was left to the mercy of her mother in law who treated her so badly that when betty/mabel was sent to her house to get her things ev would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this amazing book a story about a young girl growing up near the sea, falling in love, and marrying only to have her husband go to war and come back suffering from ptsd...only back then they didnt know what do with men suffering from the after effects of war... but betty/mabel was left to the mercy of her mother in law who treated her so badly that when betty/mabel was sent to her house to get her things even though it was dangerous, she ran away... and this is her compelling story, her journey through life and how she walked and walked and eventually found work... lesley pearse has done it again...her description of a evil mother in law to the flight of betty and what she suffered to the finding of her gift...all well thought out and brilliantly written, a brilliant storyline that will have you reading to the end to find out what happens

  16. 5 out of 5

    booklover BEV

    we are in Hallsands in Devon a little fishing village it the Year 1917, Betty Wellows flees her home from husband Martin and her mother in law Agnes and heads to Bristol under the name Mabel Brook. ready to start a new life away from Agnes, You'll never see me again. she settled as a maid of all works for Mrs Gladworthy in Harley Place and after her death is turfed out by her her brother Frank Bedford. taking in by Nora Nightingale she finds she has psychic powers and can talk to the dead. Mabel we are in Hallsands in Devon a little fishing village it the Year 1917, Betty Wellows flees her home from husband Martin and her mother in law Agnes and heads to Bristol under the name Mabel Brook. ready to start a new life away from Agnes, You'll never see me again. she settled as a maid of all works for Mrs Gladworthy in Harley Place and after her death is turfed out by her her brother Frank Bedford. taking in by Nora Nightingale she finds she has psychic powers and can talk to the dead. Mabel has a long journey in front of her throughout this book with harrowing tales to tell during the great war. would the past catch up with her? i was gripped reading this book that sent shivers and tears flowing through me. I LOVED IT. well deserved the stars

  17. 4 out of 5

    Deb Keats

    Rather bland slow story, pretty average.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Diane Plant

    Thanks to netgalley and the publishers for allowing me to review this book. A very articulate book and a little like a history lesson but I couldn't put it down.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gill Brown

    Such a great book, a book you can get your teeth into. I love Lesley Pearse’s books. A really good family saga.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Wow another fantastic book by one of my favourite authors. I've read all her books and each one gets better and better. Always feel I'm transported to the time and place and never want them to end

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    I am a long time fan of Lesley Pearse and was really looking forward to the new book. Whilst I found it enjoyable, I didn't enjoy it as much as previous books by the author. This one seemed more predictable with less surprises and with less 'dark' moments than previous books. I still enjoyed it, but found myself skipping pages at the end as I already knew what was going to happen. The writing style, although typical Lesley Pearse, just feels less intriguing than before, I t I am a long time fan of Lesley Pearse and was really looking forward to the new book. Whilst I found it enjoyable, I didn't enjoy it as much as previous books by the author. This one seemed more predictable with less surprises and with less 'dark' moments than previous books. I still enjoyed it, but found myself skipping pages at the end as I already knew what was going to happen. The writing style, although typical Lesley Pearse, just feels less intriguing than before, I think I have been spoilt having read every single book by the author before, most of them a lot more than once! I am such a fan that it is easy for me to compare, but for a first time reader, I would recommend this book for some holiday reading. The cover looks like it's going to be a thriller - it's not! A nice book, nothing special - average.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emma Crowley

    You'll Never See Me Again is easily the best book I have read by my favourite author Lesley Pearse in several years. It really felt like she was going back to the tone and atmosphere of her earlier novels where the title was always the main characters name. I was hooked from page one as there was such a dramatic opening and I couldn't leave it out of my hands until I had finished the final page. This was a deeply satisfying read packed full of emotion, tension, danger, suspicion and heart and I You'll Never See Me Again is easily the best book I have read by my favourite author Lesley Pearse in several years. It really felt like she was going back to the tone and atmosphere of her earlier novels where the title was always the main characters name. I was hooked from page one as there was such a dramatic opening and I couldn't leave it out of my hands until I had finished the final page. This was a deeply satisfying read packed full of emotion, tension, danger, suspicion and heart and I loved every minute of it. I really felt that I had been on a journey with our main character Betty who within the first chapter or two is forced to change her identity and call herself Mabel. It's evident Mabel is a courageous, brave and determined girl who when faced with a life altering choice and is given the chance to escape from a life of drudgery, mental cruelty and lack of sympathy or passion that she then just grabs the bull by the horns and goes for it. It was an admirable decision given the nature of her situation but little did she really realise the consequences of it. What follows is a story with so many twists and turns balanced nicely with periods of calm, rest and happiness before upheaval, fear, unease and angst rear their ugly heads. Can Mabel battle through and emerge successfully out the other side? Can she find the happiness she so desperately seeks? Can kindness and integrity triumph over adversity? Or will the past come back to haunt her and threaten the idyll she wishes to create for herself? I loved the opening to the story as the setting and weather really played an important role in establishing the reasons and motives behind the main plot-line of the story. In 1917, Betty lives in a very small coastal fishing village. Her father has died and her husband Martin has returned home injured from the war and he is no longer the same man he once was. Shell shock plays a major role in his character and he remains locked away mentally from Betty, their love and marriage apparently forgotten. His mother Agnes is spiteful, ignorant and treats Betty like a skivvy. Betty feels she is at breaking point and wonders can she continue with the situation that faces her on a daily basis. One night a storm of epic proportions hits the coast and Betty is forced by Agnes to go her cottage to retrieve some of her belongings as she had been staying with her mother-in-law Agnes as her home would best suit Martin in his recuperation. Betty feels she has been put in a perilous situation for no reason as it's clear the severe nature and force of the storm will soon wash away her home. But as she makes it upstairs to her cottage she seizes an opportunity. A spur of the moment decision where she can see freedom beckoning although it will not be without its challenges, confrontations, upset and despair. But she goes for it and grabs a few things and slips away into the night not knowing where the path will take her but desperately hoping it will be into a future that is brighter and more content than her deeply unhappy existence these last few months and in the years since she lost her father. With the words -You'll never see me again - she forges a new direction for herself. I didn't judge Betty who changes her name to Mabel to conceal her identity and background story for leaving her husband. What could she do given Agnes was so cold blooded, callous and heartless? Martin was a wreck of a man who didn't know even where he was nor could he identify people. Mabel does feel a sense of duty but given the very short time frame she has to make the decision, I felt she made the right one. I felt such a powerful and impressive opening really made me identify and feel for Mabel and I was hoping she would find what had evaded her for so long. There are many stages to her journey and although she shoulders the burden of concealing her identity I enjoyed that her true nature and character began to emerge. She was full of grit and determination and although she hadn't much to offer in the way of qualifications she was willing to take on jobs that would further her that little bit more. She had aspirations, enthusiasm and was keen and interest and hopefully she would put these traits to good use. Mabel had left with very little but she was dogged and decisive with a more of a purposeful plan slowly starting to emerge. I loved all the characters she met upon her journey, well apart from those who were evidently from the rougher side of life with ulterior motives and who in turn ultimately created setbacks for Mabel. But I thought she became a different person once she left the hamlet of Hallsands and that in a way a weight or burden had lifted from her shoulders even though always at the back of her mind was the worry her true identity would be discovered. She feared that if that had been the case that people would judge her for her choice but that was something she had to just live with and come to an acceptance with if the truth did emerge. Would she be strong enough to deal with the fallout if this did become a reality? The people Mabel meets can sense there is something dark in her past that she is trying to conceal but it isn't a dominant trait of her personality. Mabel enjoys being answerable to no one and she becomes a different person. She works hard and wants to excel and its when she reaches Willow Cottage in Dorchester and the home of illustrator Clara then I thought the book took on another tone and feel altogether. It really came across as this was a settling period in Mabel's new life and I loved the setting that Lesley Pearse created. Even though the war was raging on and the threat of the Spanish flu edged ever closer Clara's home seemed like a little oasis of calm amidst the madness and destruction. It became a safety net for Mabel where she could relax to some extent and the friendship that developed between herself and Clara was something that Mabel needed in her life. Something unusual and life changing which would have significant consequences began to make itself known to Mabel. Normally I would throw my eyes up to heaven at such a strand emerging in a story but here it felt genuine and it slotted perfectly into the overall plot and I felt its inclusion was necessary and pivotal. It was never all plain sailing for Mabel even though I thought she found this for a time at Clara's cottage. At one point it appeared as if she could never catch a break that she deserved far more than she had been given. Then it was so cruelly and graphically snatched from her hands that I felt every bit of sorrow and loss emanating from the pages. But Mabel is strong, resourceful and competent and I knew she had the capabilities of pulling herself up from the bottom and emerging triumphant out the other side but the manner in which she attempted to do so would never be easy or plain sailing. I thoroughly enjoyed the romance element that began to emerge. It was leisurely and paced very well and never too in your face as Mabel always had at the back of her mind her real identity and her reasons for her upheaval. The last quarter of the story once again ramped up the action and I was on the edge of my seat and aghast at some of the things that were unfolding. Mabel is faced with the greatest challenge of all and I think other people would have turned a blind eye and continued on the way they were but Mabel has a conscience and a deep and abiding loyalty and she proves her worth. I wouldn't have chosen the root she did but perhaps she needned redemption and to see her journey through right to the bitter end. You'll Never See Me Again was a brilliant read that kept me guessing right until the very end. It's definitely a book that you should read this summer as it is Lesely Pearse at her very best. This story will bring plenty of new readers to Lesley's work and long term fans will be deeply satisfied. I'm just gutted I'll have to wait another year for something new from Lesley.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Lesley Pearse is one of my all time favourite authors. Once again Lesley has written a wonderful enthralling story with strong characters set in a realistic background. Lesley can really make you feel that you know all the characters and I just could not put it down as it kept me so engrossed. I would love to see a sequel to this book. Highly recommended as a great historical fiction novel to get lost in. As with Lesley's other books, this story would also make an excellent TV drama s Lesley Pearse is one of my all time favourite authors. Once again Lesley has written a wonderful enthralling story with strong characters set in a realistic background. Lesley can really make you feel that you know all the characters and I just could not put it down as it kept me so engrossed. I would love to see a sequel to this book. Highly recommended as a great historical fiction novel to get lost in. As with Lesley's other books, this story would also make an excellent TV drama series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Juliet Bookliterati

    You’ll Never See Me Again is the twenty seventh novel from the brilliant Lesley Pearse. Set in the years during and after the Great War, this is an engaging and thrilling piece of historical fiction with a strong and courageous heroine. Betty is only sixteen when she marries Martin but after he returns from the War injured and shellshocked, he is no longer the man she married; he doesn’t even recognise her. They move in with his mother, Agnes, who treats Betty appallingly, taking most of her wag You’ll Never See Me Again is the twenty seventh novel from the brilliant Lesley Pearse. Set in the years during and after the Great War, this is an engaging and thrilling piece of historical fiction with a strong and courageous heroine. Betty is only sixteen when she marries Martin but after he returns from the War injured and shellshocked, he is no longer the man she married; he doesn’t even recognise her. They move in with his mother, Agnes, who treats Betty appallingly, taking most of her wages off her and treating her like a maid. During a terrible storm Betty makes a flash decision to disappear, and Betty becomes Mabel. It’s never easy to outrun your past, and it can catch up with you when you least expect it. Lesley Pearse is a masterful story teller, with a long list of published novels, so when I pick up one of her books I know it is going to be an engaging read, with wonderful prose and a set of characters that engage with the reader. I loved Betty’s story, her courage at such a young age to leave behind her abusive mother-in-law, the only home she has known and start a new life. Leaving her husband behind was not a decision she took lightly but I found as a reader I didn’t judge her for it, I really became invested in her story and wanted her to find the happiness she deserved. Betty is inherently a good person, she is kind, caring but vulnerable as she always sees the best in people and could be taken advantage of. When she realises she has a ‘gift’ her morals and good nature stop her from benefiting at others expense. With this book being set during and just after the Great War there is attention to the cultural and social history of the period that brings out the difficulties felt by those at home, the men fighting and the German POW’s. Contextually this backdrop sees some of the characters dealing with war injuries, the reality of shell shock, ex soldiers having to beg to survive, the prejudice against the German POW’s and the Spanish Flu that comes to Britain through the soldiers coming home. It was a difficult period for all concerned, some resorted to desperate measures, and it is these decisions at the heart of this book. You’ll Never See Me Again is a fantastic read that hooks you from the first page. You are compelled to read Betty’s story, wanting her to find happiness and a good life for herself. Along the way there are a few twists and turns that add to the intrigue and suspense of the book and keep you turning the page. There is no doubt of Lesley Pearse’s skill as a writer, and I have no doubt this will be another bestseller. Beautifully written, with attention to historical detail, characters that you engage with, and a lot of drama and suspense, this is an amazingly good read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bigfatbookworm

    Yet again, Lesley has fetched me a lead female I can root for. Betty has been living with her in-laws and her husband, Martin, who has just returned from the war in France, suffering from ‘shell shock’ and with an injury to his leg. Agnes, the mother-in-law, is a cruel woman, spiteful towards Betty and taking half of Martin’s pay. Martin suffers his own guilt following the death of his father, and Agnes does nothing to help relieve this burden. When a storm hits the coastline and thre Yet again, Lesley has fetched me a lead female I can root for. Betty has been living with her in-laws and her husband, Martin, who has just returned from the war in France, suffering from ‘shell shock’ and with an injury to his leg. Agnes, the mother-in-law, is a cruel woman, spiteful towards Betty and taking half of Martin’s pay. Martin suffers his own guilt following the death of his father, and Agnes does nothing to help relieve this burden. When a storm hits the coastline and threatens to destroy Betty’s house, Agnes tells her to run round and gather up her belongings before it’s swept to sea – but does Agnes want her to go down with the house and suffer a death at sea, just like Martin’s father did? Could she really be that cruel? Just at that moment, something clicks inside our heroine, and she decides not to go back to Agnes and Martin – ‘You’ll never see me again!’ she shouts, grabs her stuff and a secret stash of cash and leaves – just before the house is claimed by the sea. So far… so dramatic! I heart Betty already. She’s feeling the guilt but she’s ready to stride forward for herself. You can’t really blame the girl. She spends the night sleeping in a barn, concocting a new identity for herself. She will be Mabel, a widow from Plymouth whose husband was killed in France. She wants her ‘husband’ (thinking about her real one, Martin) to have died a hero. Later, Mabel is viciously attacked and robbed. She is rescued by Nora, who takes her in and reveals she is a medium. Nora has a sad past, raped in the workhouse and gave birth to a stillborn child – that’s when she realised she could talk to the dead. But does Mabel have the same talent? Mabel meets a lovely mix of characters along the way in the story, each with their own past, and each with their own agenda. Romance and love might be starting to touch her life again. But something is bothering her. Holding her mother’s beads one night, she feels a calling back to go back home, to the coast, to Agnes and Martin. Has something happened? Well I’m not going to tell you. Lesley has again created a book that kept me glued from start to finish, with an interesting mix of characters, and an excellent presentation of post-war Britain, when everyone was adjusting to new social, financial and political norms. There’s plenty to choose from in this book – there’s drama, romance, a bit of the occult… but in the middle is a woman who realises that starting a new life isn’t as easy as it sounds, when you haven’t quite closed the door properly on the previous one. I really enjoyed You’ll Never See Me Again and look forward to reading more from Lesley.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Breakaway Reviewers

    What a glorious book! The year is 1917. There’s a terrible storm raging in Hallsands, Devon when Betty Wellows’ mother-in-law screams at her to leave the house and return to the cottage she and her husband, Martin had shared to fetch whatever she could before the raging storm carried everything off with it. Betty barely escapes from the cottage with the few possessions she can grab before the waves start breaking through the windows and doors. She can’t bear the idea of having to retu What a glorious book! The year is 1917. There’s a terrible storm raging in Hallsands, Devon when Betty Wellows’ mother-in-law screams at her to leave the house and return to the cottage she and her husband, Martin had shared to fetch whatever she could before the raging storm carried everything off with it. Betty barely escapes from the cottage with the few possessions she can grab before the waves start breaking through the windows and doors. She can’t bear the idea of having to return to the house where her badly shell-shocked husband doesn’t even recognise her and flees into the night and the constant bullying of his mother. Over the next few nights, she hides during the day and walks at night. Betty morphs into a widow, Mrs Mabel Brook from Plymouth. She makes her way to Bristol and finds work as a housemaid in a beautiful home. Her happy stay in Bristol ends when Mrs Galsworthy, the woman she’s employed by, dies after a stroke. She moves to Dorchester to work for Miss Clara May, an artist. Sometimes a book comes along and it feels like you’re not reading but have somehow been swallowed by the pages and you become part of the story. That’s exactly what happened with me after the first page of Lesley Pearce’s brilliant storyline. The characters are so real, so perfectly described that you feel like you’re floating on a cloud as you go with Mabel through all the ups and downs, the good times and bad. It’s not just the story. It’s the history that’s been weaved into the threads of the book. These terrible floods that washed away fishermen’s cottages. Men returning from the war, not just with broken bodies but also shell-shocked. The German prisoners held in Dorchester. Bristol teeming with injured soldiers, now beggars. Prejudice against class, and all this is learnt as we watch this fisherman’s daughter transform into a very well-read, feisty, wonderful woman who is never scared of helping others being treated unfairly. I’m truly sad tonight that I’ve come to the end of this beautifully written book. I hope that the future I imagined for Mabel as I read the final page turned out to be exactly what Mabel’s future life would be in her beautiful new home. Thank you, Lesley Pearce, for this brilliant portrayal of life during WW1 and the years just after. I too lived in Dorchester, unfortunately, without knowing what happened its remarkable history during WW1. I’m going to ensure that my next visit there is to the fantastic history museum where I can hopefully, learn more. Treebeard Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Smith

    Lesley Pearse has done it again. She's one of my favourite authors and she's weaved another fantastic tale. I've enjoyed all of her books but I do have a preference for the ones set longer ago and this one is set in 1917. Perfect! Betty Wellows is in her early 20s, married to her childhood sweetheart, Martin. Sadly, Betty no longer has her parents and Martin's mother, Agnes, is a horrid woman. When Martin returns from the war severely injured and shell-shocked he's no longer the man B Lesley Pearse has done it again. She's one of my favourite authors and she's weaved another fantastic tale. I've enjoyed all of her books but I do have a preference for the ones set longer ago and this one is set in 1917. Perfect! Betty Wellows is in her early 20s, married to her childhood sweetheart, Martin. Sadly, Betty no longer has her parents and Martin's mother, Agnes, is a horrid woman. When Martin returns from the war severely injured and shell-shocked he's no longer the man Betty married. He's a shell of a man really. Given his injuries, Martin is unable to reach their tiny seafront cottage and so they live with Agnes. It's this that drives Betty to runaway one day during a storm. She just can't live with Agnes's venom any longer. It may seem extreme but who knows what any of us would do in the same situation. Certainly, Betty feels she has no choice but to run to survive. She changes her name to Mabel Brook and tries to make a new life for herself. For me, this is where the story really took off. Mabel takes work in houses that need help and I found this so interesting. I'm always far more interested in below stairs than above. She goes through the ups and downs I have come to expect from Lesley Pearse who likes to put her heroines through the mill but she always makes them strong enough to conquer whatever life throws at her. Mabel is a genuinely lovely person and I loved her as a character. I also liked some of the people she came into contact with through her work such as housekeeper, Mrs Hardy, and Clara, an illustrator who becomes a friend as well as an employer. The transformation that Mabel goes through in just a few short years is amazing, leading up to what I thought was a perfect ending. I was hoping and praying all the way through that she would get a happy outcome and that she would overcome the many tragedies in her young life. I was totally engrossed in You'll Never See Me Again. It's an absolutely thrilling story with characters I loved and some I loved to hate. From start to finish it's full of heart and humanity, covering not only the final years of the First World War, but also the Spanish flu epidemic and those years just after the end of the war when men were returning and trying to get back to normality and women were finding that the war had given them a greater voice. This book is a triumph and I loved every minute I spent reading it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    I have read and enjoyed all the books by this established writer. That communicates that I'm a huge fan. A poignant, insightful, unforgettable story. The year is 1917, while the war still rages across Europe. Betty leaves her chronically shell-shocked husband and brutal mother-in-law at Hallsands in Devon and reinvents herself as Mabel. Using the sense of smell to create a sense of place and historical relevance is impressive. The imagery was excellent as ever. I found myself hesitant about the I have read and enjoyed all the books by this established writer. That communicates that I'm a huge fan. A poignant, insightful, unforgettable story. The year is 1917, while the war still rages across Europe. Betty leaves her chronically shell-shocked husband and brutal mother-in-law at Hallsands in Devon and reinvents herself as Mabel. Using the sense of smell to create a sense of place and historical relevance is impressive. The imagery was excellent as ever. I found myself hesitant about the inclusion of the psychic thread theme. Although I’m a sceptic with differing views,( I am struggling to be more open-minded) it was well portrayed and fascinating. It didn’t detract from the plot. I felt great compassion for Martin. In the Battle of the Somme in 1916 it’s reported that 40% of the men suffered from shell-shock. Little was understood then of what we now call PTSD. It was considered a weakness and failing. I’m not convinced that they cater too well now either. If you read about the post-combat experiences soldiers face after a lengthy spell in Iraq, for instance, there’s a question mark over their complete integration back into normal, civilised life. Hate, anger and violence seem to be endemic in human beings. Mental illness on the increase. Food for thought. Another insight made me nostalgic. There were family doctors who actually visited patients. WOW! That takes me back. Not a three-week wait for a GP appointment or a three-hour wait in a packed A&E. However, before the NHS in 1948, one had to be in a position to pay for treatment. My recollections start in the 1950s. I recall my doctor sucking on his pipe attending me when I had measles aged five. At age 8, I broke my ankle. A doctor came to diagnose it and bandaged my ankle. The same doctor took me through my childhood and youth. After trials and tribulations, there's a satisfactory, plausible ending. Thank you for evoking these memories and insights Lesley Pearse, NetGalley and Penguin UK Michael Joseph.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emma Rowson

    I am a long time fan of Lesley Pearse, and to date there has only been one of her novels which hasn’t quite hit the mark for me, which is a pretty impressive record bearing in mind this is her 27th novel! I was thrilled to be in the privileged position to be able to request and receive an advance copy of her latest novel, You’ll Never See Me Again, and when it arrived literally minutes before I was due to leave for a few days away in Jersey, I was elated! I really enjoyed her last two novel I am a long time fan of Lesley Pearse, and to date there has only been one of her novels which hasn’t quite hit the mark for me, which is a pretty impressive record bearing in mind this is her 27th novel! I was thrilled to be in the privileged position to be able to request and receive an advance copy of her latest novel, You’ll Never See Me Again, and when it arrived literally minutes before I was due to leave for a few days away in Jersey, I was elated! I really enjoyed her last two novels, Woman in the Wood and The House Across the Street (review here) but for me, You’ll Never See Me Again has been sprinkled with the Lesley magic of old, feeling so stylistically reminiscent of some of my favourite novels. She truly is a master at creating characters you cannot help but love, and Betty/Mabel is no different. A young woman facing adversity and needing to gather her courage and wits in order to survive is a familiar storyline, but one which Lesley delivers with great skill and depth of emotion. The rich description brings scenes to life, and the relationships between characters are wonderfully believable. It is rare that I’m not almost instantly hooked when I read a Lesley Pearse novel. This novel had a slightly supernatural edge to it which gave it a quirky twist, especially given the time period in which it is set. If I were to have one slight criticism, I wish the mediumship had been made more of, mainly because I really enjoyed that element of the novel and I felt that there were some unanswered questions. I am (not so) secretly hoping for some sort of follow on or prequel involving Carsten, who will (in my mind) go down in history as one of the most memorable male characters she has ever created. Heart-wrenching and heart-warming in equal measure, You’ll Never See Me Again held me captive until the last word. Lesley Pearse at her best – I absolutely loved it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    The Mare

    This book is set during the first world war, mainly set around the south coast of England, and follows our main character Betty. We are first introduced to her on a dark stormy night where Betty is staying with her husband - suffering from PTSD, having recently returned wounded from serving during the war - and mother-in-law. Having endured her mother in law's cruel words and unkindness, she is forced out in the storm to retrieve some personal belongings from her husband's and hers' cottage. The This book is set during the first world war, mainly set around the south coast of England, and follows our main character Betty. We are first introduced to her on a dark stormy night where Betty is staying with her husband - suffering from PTSD, having recently returned wounded from serving during the war - and mother-in-law. Having endured her mother in law's cruel words and unkindness, she is forced out in the storm to retrieve some personal belongings from her husband's and hers' cottage. Their home is at risk from being swept away by the sea with the current storm, and it is in that moment that Betty, reflecting on her current situation with her husband and his mother, makes the quick decision to escape her life in Hallsands and begin a new life for herself. She runs away and assumes a new identity, calling herself Mabel. Whilst she develops this new life for herself, getting work in-service as a housemaid and making new friends and acquaintances, her previous life is forever in her mind with the worry of being found out. She endures many hardships during this time, but we see her develop herself, having her eyes opened to the big city of Bristol, where her only previous life experiences have ever been within the small fishing village of Hallsands. Her experiences make her strong and independent, giving her the strength to overcome some of the things life throws at her. The book is an enjoyable, yet simple read, with characters and their actions reflecting the time in which it is set in. Whilst the story line does not challenge your thinking, you find yourself wanting to know what happens to Mabel and if the secret of her previous life is going to be discovered. If you are looking for an easy read, with a straightforward and simple story line then this would be a book most suitable for you. Unfortunately, whilst I enjoyed reading this text, I did not find it as gripping as I'd hoped and found the characters a little stereo typical and the story line predictable in places.. My thanks go out to Penguin UK - Michael Joseph's netgalley for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this.

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