What became of the little girl with the sun in her eyes?
Amber was three when a car crash stole her mother's life. She doesn't remember the accident, but a stranger at the scene has been unable to forget. Now almost thirty years later, she's trying to track Amber down.
Amber, meanwhile, is married to Ned and living on the other side of the world in London. When her father has a stroke she flies straight home to Australia to be with him.
Away from her husband, Amber finds comfort in her oldest friends, but her feelings for Ethan, the gorgeous, green eyed man she once fell for, have never been platonic.
As Ethan and Amber grow closer, married life in London feels very far away. Then Amber receives a letter that changes everything.
"Before your Mother died, she asked me to tell you something...."
"The perfect summer read" ~ Heat
I'm going to start with saying that despite this book reducing me to tears, I absolutely loved it!
I'm aware that Paige Toon has a few novels out there, I first became aware of her when I read Thirteen Weddings last year.
I love Paige Toons writing style, The Sun In Her Eyes is set between rainy London and sunny Oz... having done some research on the author I discovered that most, if not all, of her books are based in these two countries and that stems from her personal up bringing.
I've also discovered that within Paige Toons books some of her characters cross reference. .. for example, in this book, Neds colleague, Zara, also features in Thirteen Weddings -based on this alone I've vowed to revisit all of her books to see how other characters make cameos! Very clever and something I've not known other authors to achieve.
The first half of The Sun In Her Eyes was an easy read...
Amber is married to Ned, she left her job as a teacher for something with higher pay but is soon made redundant. Their marriage is rocky, Amber is convinced that Zara is after her hubby and if you've read the previous book with this character you can understand why!
No sooner as she loses her job, her father has a stroke... perfect timing but thats the beauty of the book world eh?!
Amber flies to Australia to help care for her dad and help with his recovery, despite the lack of bond she has with his partner.
To escape Liz's ways, Amber relies on her fiends and drunken nights out... its almost as if she is reliving her youth now she's home. Then Ethan arrives.
Amber last saw him at her wedding and even though she committed to Ned, Ethan always has a piece of her heart and when she accidentally let's slip she loves him they become close... too close!
Neither Amber's relationship with her husband or her lover are easy ones and each have their problems but then Amber gets another distraction when a letter comes from the lady who was there when her mother died in a car accident. Doris claims to have a message from Amber's mum and they arrange to meet up... that's not all that Amber has on her mind though.
The second half of the book for me was much harder to read.
This has nothing to do with the way it's written but more with the fact that Amber reveals her and Ned had a miscarriage the year before and Amber partly blames herself for this as she had a fall shortly before her loss - Paige Toon wrote this storyline tastefully however, personally I related to Amber on another level as I've been in this situation.
For a couple of chapters I picked the book up and put it's down again numerous times and eventually got past that section and continued with the story... which I have to say had a fab ending.
Amber received her mother's dying message via Doris and got her marriage back on track. .. she even started to make amends with Liz who was about to become a permanent fixture in her fathers life.
Many reviews on The Sun In Her Eyes I've seen state how Amber came across as someone proud of her affair and relished in her childish ways with her step mum, in my view I just saw a woman that had something missing in her life. She never really knew what it was, never really knew what path to take. But that letter changed everything and although a simple message, one that you'd expect from a dying parent, was given, I felt it made Amber the character she was.
Despite my personal difficulties with this story, I wouldn't hesitate to pass the boon on to my friends as I'd thoroughly recommend it.
I'm off to find my next Paige Toon book ;)