Publication: 9th July 2020 – Simon and Schuster UK
Faced with losing everything, all that matters is Here and Now . . .
Marigold has spent her life taking care of those around her, juggling family life with the running of the local shop, and being an all-round leader in her quiet yet welcoming community. When she finds herself forgetting things, everyone quickly puts it down to her age. But something about Marigold isn’t quite right, and it’s becoming harder for people to ignore.
As Marigold’s condition worsens, for the first time in their lives her family must find ways to care for the woman who has always cared for them. Desperate to show their support, the local community come together to celebrate Marigold, and to show her that losing your memories doesn’t matter, when there are people who will remember them for you . . .
Evocative, emotional and full of life, Here and Now is the most moving book you’ll read this year – from Sunday Times bestselling author Santa Montefiore.
The new novel by Santa Montefiore is so beautiful and heart-breaking. It had me in tears quite a few times while I was reading and it captured my heart so that I am still thinking about it days later.
Everyone relies on Marigold. Her husband, her daughters, her elderly mother, the entire village. When she starts forgetting things everyone attributes it to her age and her busy life managing the local post office and grocery store and her mother and her elder daughter moving in to live with her. However, the more times passes, the more things Marigold forgets and not even writing down things in her little notebook helps her. When she starts forgetting the names of people she has known entire life, her family and friends realizes how serious the situation is and they come together to help Marigold to face this difficult time.
What I loved most about this story is the characters. They are all likable, relatable, strong, and independent. I loved Eileen with her endless gossip about everyone in the village, Nan with her own old-fashioned opinions about everything, and Daisy with her complicated love life. Santa Montefiore created a cast of incredible characters.
The story is engaging and difficult to put down. It is told from different points of views. Through Marigold’s perspective we see her fear as she becomes aware of the disease that it’s slowly consuming her and her struggle to try and keep it a secret from her family.
“Nothing came. Nothing. A cold fear edged over her skin. She couldn’t recall the car park. She couldn’t even picture it. It was as if it had vanished – or as if it had never been there.”
Reading Marigold’s perspective was the most emotional part of the story and I had to take a break a few times and take a breath. The story is told also from her family and friends’ perspective as they watch helplessly as Marigold keeps forgetting things and that part wasn’t easy to read either.
Marigold’s father used to say “What’s wrong with now?“, so, as Marigold’s disease progresses, all the characters decide that it’s time to live in the moment, follow their dreams and their hearts leading to a fantastic and moving ending.
Here And Now is an engaging, inspiring, and memorable story about illness, family, friendship (I adored the sense of close community that the author evokes), and there is also love and I found myself completely engrossed in the love story of a young couple (I am not going to spoil it!). Highly recommended!!!
A huge thank you to SJ, Books And The City, and Simon and Schuster UK for sending me an early copy of this immersive novel.