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The One I Was - A Book Review

 I received a copy of The One I Was, written by Eliza Graham from NetGalley for the purpose of generating a review. This book released in April 2015. Italicized quotes are from the book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

 

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As far back as I can remember, I’ve been a voracious reader. Something about the transport from my often ho-hum everyday life to, well, anywhere and anytime you want to go. And while I’m no expert, I do know when a book captures me. When you go from reading, taking in a little information, to being consumed by a story. This is what happens when you hear people say they read a book in one setting. Or stayed up way too late because they had to know how a story ends.

 

I just finished a book like this. “The One I Was” by Eliza Graham. The story actually spans many years. World War II to modern day, weaving in and out of the past and present. From about the second paragraph you know the main character, Rosamond, possesses some secrets. The author all but teases you with this fact repeatedly. As readers, we learn that Rosamond, a professional nurse who tends to the terminally ill in their final days, was visiting a place already familiar to her. We discover she has at least a loose connection to Benny, the current owner of Fairfleet, the estate where she takes her latest job.

I was Rose, not Rosamond, once again, nearly thirteen, living here with my mother, my brother, Andrew. And my grandmother.

 

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Photo Credit: UK Garden Photos

 

Also right away, the author reveals Rosamond wasn’t the only one with a story to tell. With years of secrets locked away inside.  

I thought about my patient, Benny Gault, and his arrival at this house. Just before the war Fairfleet had taken in a group of Jewish refugee boys from Germany, made them a home while they grew up, and sent them back out into the world to make good for themselves. And then the adult Benny Gault had returned years later to buy Fairfleet and make it his own. Now he lay dying upstairs.

 

But we don’t get anymore than that. Not yet. It takes an entire book to unfold the tale. A telling you can’t put down.

 

The One I Was” is a gripping story about a group of people who fall in love with a place. They find refuge there from a world at war. Also from a mind at war with itself. A story of generosity and love and betrayal. I was sad to reach its end.

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