Book review: You And Me, Always by Jill Mansell

10 Feb

You And Me, AlwaysOn the morning of Lily’s twenty-fifth birthday, it’s time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight.

Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum’s life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie’s attentions.

Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily’s friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again…

You And Me, Always is one of the most romantic, feelgood reads I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy in recent years. I absolutely loved this book so I make no apology for the gushing review to follow! I’ve been a fan of Jill Mansell’s books for a long time but as the cover quote says she just keeps getting better and better and I now have a new favourite of Jill’s novels!

One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was that there are characters in it that will appeal to many different readers. Although Lily is the main focus of the story, there are several key ‘stories’ in this book and Jill skillfully demonstrates that love can happen at any age! I enjoyed Lily’s love story but my favourite thread of the book was actually the one involving Lily’s adopted Mum, Coral.

Coral and her husband Nick took Lily in when her Mum died and raised her. As we meet Coral she is still trying to come to terms with her own recent loss and I loved the way Jill developed Coral’s character as the book progressed. Never has a supermarket scene been so funny or romantic as the one involving Coral in this book – you need to read it!

There’s a great feeling of community and family to this story which is upbeat and hopeful even in the poignant and sadder moments. Lily lives in the Cotswold village of Stanton Langley and has a close network to support her. In addition to Coral, her best friend Dan (a very handsome pilot) and his sister Patsy are Lily’s partners in crime and the warmth of their relationships leaps of the page.

As Lily opens the final letter from her Mum on her 25th birthday she finds details of the long lost love of her Mum’s life. At the same time Lily meets a film star in hiding and together these two events lead to a summer Lily will never forget.

There were twists and turns that I didn’t expect and some very funny moments. Jill is a great comedy writer but also provides buckets of  heart melting romance that kept me turning the pages as fast as I could to find out who would or wouldn’t end up together!

You And Me, Always would make a perfect film – I could picture it as I read and I really hope someone decides to turn it into one. I’d be first in the queue! If you’re looking for a book that will leave you with a big smile on your face, this is my recommendation to you :-)


You And Me, Always is out now in hardback and ebook formats from Headline.

Find out more about Jill and her books at:

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