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Then and Always    by Dani Atkins order for
Then and Always
by Dani Atkins
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2014 (2014)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Young Rachel Wiltshire's perfect life is shattered on the day in 2008 that tragedy strikes her and a close circle of friends. It happens just as they're ending one phase of their lives and preparing for new adventures. Rachel is heading to university to study journalism. Celebrating with her are her wealthy boyfriend Matt, her oldest friend Jimmy and her BFF Sarah, plus three others.

Something happens that day that changes all their futures drastically, and makes Rachel see some of those closest to her very differently. Five years later, she reluctantly returns to Great Bishopsford for the first time since that event - Sarah is getting married and pleaded with her to be there. So, despite worrisome headaches that are increasing in frequency, Rachel takes the train and faces her old friends once more.

There's an accident. Rachel awakens to a life she does not remember living. Everything is different, though the people are the same. The doctors believe she has a severe case of amnesia. But, if so, why are the memories of that other life so very real? At this point the reader starts to wonder whether this is some sort of urban fantasy, tale of parallel worlds, or psychological drama, but is caught up in Rachel's universe and keen to see what unfolds.

The ending took me totally by surprise but was also immensely satisfying and the perfect conclusion to this puzzling story. I highly recommend Then and Always to you; it's very well worth reading.

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