After Mrs. Hamilton by Clare Ashton
From the blurb: Clo leads a loveless life as an escort for older women. Laura is locked in a safe marriage, but longs to break out and find the parents she never met. Two women enter the lives of these friends and Clo and Laura’s secrets, and those of the generation before, begin to unravel.
This is what I have been looking for in lesfic since I started reading lesfic. This is what I have been wanting to read every time I have been disappointed by so many lackluster romances that flood the market. I felt the same way when I read Fingersmith by Sarah Waters; an almost immediate, desperate need to devour more stories with complicated characters that made me ache with sadness while making me indescribably happy.
This story is an amalgamation of intertwining plotlines, all connected in ways that you would never suspect when you begin reading it. And halfway through the book, I’m betting that you will have a Eureka! moment, thinking you have it all figured out. And I’m going to tell you right now, that you are wrong. You don’t have it figured out at all. It is so much more complicated than you could ever imagine, and even knowing that I should be expecting twists, I didn’t expect half of them.
You will meet Clo, Mrs. Hamilton, Fran, Laura, Susan, Amelia, David, Karen, and more! And I can’t tell you more than to say that Clo and Laura are friends, and Susan joins their friendship fairly early on in the story. Everyone has secrets, dark pasts, and mysterious deceptions that the reader slowly unravels up to the end. Once I picked it up, I could not be forced to put it down by any means. Readers-please pick up this book immediately. Writers, please read this and take notes.
That isn’t to say that the book isn’t without faults. For quite a while I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters, how they were connected, who was related to whom. And even towards the end, a character would be mentioned that I had to think for several minutes and flip back to recall who the author was talking about. Also, there is a storyline that left me thinking, “yeah, but now what’s gonna happen?!”
But overall, I can not recommend this book enough.