We’re delighted to be sharing Elena’s thoughts on Meant To Be by Louisa Leaman on the Random Things Tours.
This story starts with sisters Jess and Aggie at an auction trying to win an antique butterfly necklace. They miss out when the bidding gets phenomenally high and it soon transpires that the necklace is a family heirloom that Jess is trying to win back for her dying grandmother Nancy. Annoyed that she’s missed out she tries to buy the necklace back from the winning bidder, a jewellery dealer called Guy, but arrogant and dismissive he asks her out instead, sparks flying between them from the very beginning.
Jess has always been an adventurous, impulsive dreamer and after a terrible accident leaves her injured she decided she needs to grow up much to the delight of her sensible sister Aggie. Part of this new responsible Jess, is her relationship with solid and dependable (if a little boring), Tim. Things are getting more serious between them but she cannot get the thought of Guy out of her head and no-one, including him, seems to understand the importance of finding the necklace so that the legacy can live on.
Determined to win it back for Nancy she embarks on a mission that sees her travel to Hollywood, attend star-studded galas and more contact with Guy than she knows she should have.
I thought this book was utterly charming and a lovely look at family histories and relationships. I loved Jess’s character and could identify with her disdain for conformity. I rooted for her to find out the history of the necklace and the women who wore it through generations. I flew through the pages and I became totally absorbed in the story. I willed her to leave poor dependable Tim and find herself again and my absolute favourite character had to be Nancy who’s dying wish drove Jess’s adventure and journey back to who she is.
Meant To Be is a thoroughly enjoyable read, written in a chatty, endearing style, that will leave you hungrily turning the pages.
Louisa Leaman was born, raised and now lives near Epping Forest. She studied Art History at Leeds University before becoming a teacher working with children with special needs. After winning the Times Education Supplement’s New Writer’s Award, she turned her hand to writing books for children. Louisa currently writes content for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but has also been published in the Guardian, the Observer, the Independent and The Times Educational Supplement. Her interest in the arts is often inspiration for her plots and her first book, The Perfect Dress, was inspired by the V&As large wedding dress collection and fulfils her dream of writing romantic fiction. When she isn’t busy writing or rearing her three lively children, she paints portraits, takes long walks and spends far too long browsing vintage clothing shops. Twitter @louisaleaman