Last Bite Of The Cherry is a dark romance, more of a tale of slowly unfolding life-stories which culminate in another chance for some of the characters.
The book opens in 1969, Monica Sommers is just fourteen, she witnesses her parents arguing, then a near fatal accident. A distressing time for the young Monica.
A couple of chapters later and it is now the year 2000. Monica is in training to be a nun, is involved with a refuge for abused women and she also counsels. She hopes to help Rosaleen Westlake, a women suffering from depression. Through their sessions Monica finds similarities in their lives and this unleashes her own past.
The book hops back and forth with time-slips throughout Monica’s life. Much of it involves her re-telling these events to her very good friend Father Malachy O’Brien.
This is an intense read, often dialogue lead, but with sprinkles of rich descriptions as the storyline builds in layers. There are also some enjoyable characters who bring their own wide ranging local dialects to the book. I particularly liked Dora.
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Monica Sommers, during counselling sessions with depressed Rosaleen Westlake, is reminded of her own tumultuous past. Monica, only child of warring parents, loves unwisely. Insecure, impulsive, she betrays with irreversible consequences, Will Ackroyd, the love of her young life. Will loves her above all else. Seeking atonement, she meets and falls in love with Malachy O’Brien, her chance of a last bite of the cherry, if love, like life, is a bowl of cherries. Malachy is everything any woman would want in a man. But, can he love her in return? Malachy is a priest. Cherries have stones.
About the author
Mags Cullingford, escaping the rumpus of a university department, decided to generate uproar she could control. She realized a long-term ambition to write fiction. Although ‘romantic’ is not how she would describe herself, Last Bite of the Cherry is a love story, with issues and then some. Otherwise there would be little fun in either writing about, or reading of the characters she conjures up, or so she thinks.
She has now completed her second novel, Twins of a Gazelle, and is currently working on a third.
Mags is a founding member of the indie publishing group, The New Romantics 4