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A woman with buried secrets, a man whose past threatens to overwhelm him...Making peace with the past can be the hardest thing to do...Madeline seems to be a woman in control - of her work, her relationships, her whole calm, clockwork life. But beneath the surface, she is haunted by a tragedy which she locked away long ago. When she meets Flynn, a troubled war photographer, she is thrown into turmoil. He too has a traumatic past, a history which he cannot contain. Disturbing memories have begun to overwhelm him, threatening his marriage, his relationship with his children and his career in the process. Thrown together in their struggle to cope, they connect in a way that is as terrifying as it is exhilarating. But to move on with their lives, they must face up to - and deal with - not only the present and their powerful feelings for one another, but the ghosts that have haunted them for so long...

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780007105724
ISBN-10: 000710572X
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 130mm x mm)
Pages: 400
Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publish Date: 15-Mar-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is not usually the backdrop for a love story. However, this love refreshingly transcends sex, romance and relationships to become a real healing force. News photographer Flynn Brennan accompanies Madeline Light (a fitting name for the PTSD specialist she is) to an oilrig disaster. He is posing as a personnel officer from the drilling company, but his fraud is rapidly discovered and he is treated with the contempt he deserves. However, his reaction to viewing the damaged bodies tells Madeline that he too has suffered damage. Some months later Flynn approaches Madeline for counselling. In the intervening chapters we learn about Madeline's partner, Patrick, and Flynn's wife, Georgia. Neither relationship is running smoothly. Madeline reluctantly takes Flynn as a patient and finds it hard to trust his motives. She finds his flirtatious approach confusing, and after consulting both her practice partner and her mentor she finally admits she has to consider the explosion in her own life just as much as the one on the oilrig. Flynn is full of guilt and anger about the atrocities he has witnessed over the years. His experience in Rwanda has left him unable to work or to talk about his problem. Patiently Madeline moves him towards recalling the event which provoked his panic on the oilrig, while trying to come to terms with his love for her and her own feelings for him. Matters come to a head when Flynn's wife and son are involved in a road accident. Madeline is forced to confront her own past while Flynn finally confesses what he considers his cowardice and shame. Their love for each other gives them strength: Flynn to reassess the importance of wife and family and Madeline to leave the safe harbour that Patrick has provided and re-establish herself as an individual. This novel examines the counsellor-patient relationship, its boundaries and the occasional stretching of those limits. Some of the most moving scenes of this book are those where Flynn tries to explain to his children why he may have to leave his wife. Mead has a delicate touch with emotions and her characters are well rounded. Everyone needs at some stage to reappraise their memories and the emotional baggage they carry, and everyone can identify with this moving book. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Juliette Mead

Juliette Mead was born in 1960. After pursuing a career in finance in London, New York and Dallas, she switched careers to become a headhunter, which inspired her first work of fiction. She now lives in Wiltshire with her husband and four children, and has written five successful novels.