What If? And What Now? are previous novels written by Shari Low and this one catches up with the characters from those books, but can be read as a standalone too. The books follow a group of five friends over the years – Carly, Carol, Kate, Jess and Sarah.
What Next? begins at the end of 2021 with Carly in a Los Angeles jail cell!
Carly Morton is a writer, mum to Mac (19) and Benny (17) by ex-husband Mark Barwick, and she is now married to Sam (actor turned film producer).
Kate Smith is Carly’s friend and neighbour, she is married to architect Bruce, with three kids in their twenties (Tallulah, Cameron and Zoe).
Carol is married to Carly’s brother Callum Cooper and is also her long-time friend. Carol and Callum have twin daughters Charlotte and Antonia (20).
Jess Latham is Carly’s friend, lives with her boyfriend Arnie, and has a son at Uni (Josh).
The other major character in the book is the brilliant Val Murray. She is Carly’s aunt, in her sixties and married to Don.
The chapters are written in the first person from the viewpoints of Carly, Val, Carol and Jess. These are very well written characters and each one has a distinctive voice, so the reader can easily follow who is talking.
The main body of the story is based in the United States. Val, Carly and Carol fly there – Carly to see her husband, Val to try to complete her Bucket List. This is a lovely idea and I really enjoyed following her antics.
There are themes of friendship and family in the book. Alongside a great deal of humour, there are many serious issues explored too including loss, illness, ageing, infidelity and controlling partners.
It is written in an informal, chatty style, and there are so many clever and laugh-out-loud funny bits, which I especially enjoyed. I also loved the strong female characters, especially as the main friends are all around my age (in their fifties) with grown up kids, so I could relate to some of the things they had to deal with. The book is very well written and I love Val, she’s one of my favourite fictional characters I have discovered in a long time, she’s hilarious, so straight-talking!
This is the first of Shari Low’s books I have read, but I’ll be reading more in the future!
9 out of 10
Two weeks, four friends and one big bucket list of secrets to unravel…
Val Murray and her best friend, Josie had been planning a ‘Thelma and Louise’ bucket list style holiday.
Now Josie is gone, and Val needs to make the trip before it’s too late.
But Val doesn’t want to do it alone, so she enlists the help of her nieces, Carly and Carole, and their best pal, Jess, who jump at the chance to join Val on a trip of a lifetime.
What Val doesn’t realise is that Carly, Carole and Jess are all at turning points in their own lives, nursing crushing secrets, lies and betrayals.
Somewhere between Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York they all hit a crossroads and have to decide if they want to return to the lives they left behind or let Josie’s last wishes take them on a brand new adventure.
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3HK6xsc
Author Bio –
Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 25 novels, including One Day In Summer and My One Month Marriage and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.
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