Together Again is Milly Johnson’s twentieth novel and to celebrate paperback publication, twenty bloggers are sharing their review of this fabulous book. I read this not that long ago and am pleased to share my review again today.
About the Book
Sisters Jolene, Marsha and Annis have convened at their beautiful family home, Fox House, following the death of their mother, the tricky Eleanor Vamplew. Born seven years apart, the women are more strangers than sisters.
Jolene, the eldest, is a successful romantic novelist who writes about beautiful relationships even though her own marriage to the handsome and charming Warren is complicated.
Marsha, the neglected middle child, has put all of her energy into her work, hoping money will plug the gap in her life left by the man who broke her young heart.
Annis is the renegade, who left home aged sixteen and never returned, not even for the death of their beloved father Julian. Until now.
So when the sisters discover that their mother has left everything to Annis in her will, it undermines everything they thought they knew. Can saying their final goodbyes to Eleanor bring them together again?
Together, Again is the story of truths uncovered and lies exposed, of secrets told – and kept. It is a novel about sister helping sister to heal from childhood scars and finding in each other support, forgiveness, courage and love.
I really enjoyed this book and was invested in the sisters’ stories from the beginning. Evenly spaced with a 14 year gap between oldest and youngest, the sisters had never been particularly close. I really felt for them as they had never really received much in the way of love from either of their parents. I sensed that the elder sisters in particular felt they needed to be high achievers in their careers as a way of gaining attention and validation whether from their parents or others. Annis was quite different and I hadn’t expected to like her as much as I did. It had seemed that she had more or less abandoned her sisters when she abruptly left home at just 16. However, she was really likeable from the off and it made me wonder why she had left.
This was just one of the mysteries in the book. As well as wondering why Annis had left home, I wondered why Eleanor had left everything to her in her will, There was also intrigue involving the next door neighbours who used to be close friends but again there had been an abrupt and dramatic falling out. What happened is slowly disclosed partly in the letter Eleanor wrote for Annis and partly through reading between the lines. This made the book a really compelling read.
There are various relationships within the novel and I felt that these were all written about in a very convincing way. Whether in relationships or other aspects of their lives, this was very much about the sisters having second chances at happiness. Milly Johnson wrote so beautifully about them starting to communicate with each other and really getting to know each other for the first time, and discovering that actually they quite liked each other.
I’ve read other reviews mentioning that this is a darker story than normal from Milly Johnson and I can kind of see what they mean. It perhaps doesn’t have quite the same humorous feel and light-heartedness as some of her previous novels with more focus on difficult family relationships. However, it’s certainly not a dark novel and filled as always with warmth and emotion.
With themes including controlling relationships, forbidden love and long-kept secrets, I think that this book is Milly Johnson at her storytelling best. The love, support and courage Jolene, Marsha and Annis displayed made this a really satisfying and ultimately uplifting read.
Together, Again by Milly Johnson is out now, published by Simon & Schuster in paperback, priced £8.99.
About the Author
Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. A Sunday Times bestseller, she is one of the Top 10 Female Fiction authors in the UK, and with millions of copies of her books sold across the world, Milly’s star continues to rise. Milly was chosen as one of the authors for The Reading Agency’s Quick Reads 2020 campaign. Together, Again is her twentieth novel. Milly writes from the heart about what and where she knows and highlights the importance of community spirit. Her books champion women, their strength and resilience, and celebrate love, friendship and the possibility of second chances. She is an exceptional writer who puts her heart and soul into every book she writes and every character she creates.