Not Without You by Harriet Evans
Published by Harper Collins
7th November 2013
Hollywood, 1961: when beautiful, much-loved movie star Eve Noel vanishes at the height of her fame, no-one knows where, much less why.
Fifty years later another young British actress, Sophie Leigh, lives in Eve’s house high in the Hollywood Hills. Eve Noel was her inspiration and Sophie, disenchanted with her life in L.A., finds herself becoming increasingly obsessed with the memory of her idol’s disappearance. And the more she discovers, the more she realises Eve’s life is linked with her own.
Sophie needs to unravel the truth to save them both – but is she already too late? Becoming increasingly entangled in Eve’s world and as past and present start to collide, Sophie must decide whose life she is really living….
A bright spring day, sunshine splashing yellow through the new leaves. Two little girls stand on the banks of the swollen stream, which rushes loudly past their small feet.
‘Come on,’ says the first. ‘There’s magic coins in there. Gold coins, from the elves. I can see them glinting. Can’t you?’ She pushes the short sleeves of her lawn dress up above her shoulders; a determined imitation of the men they see in the fields beyond, backs curved over the soil. Her brown hair bobs about her head, sun darting though the bouncing curls. She grins. ‘It’ll be fun. Don’t listen to them.’
The second one hesitates. She always hesitates. ‘I don’t know, Rose,’ she says. ‘They said it’s dangerous. All that rain…Father said you weren’t to do it again. He said you’d be sent away if –‘
‘You believe them, don’t you.’ Rose crosses her arms. ‘I’m not doing all those things they say I do. They’re making it up. I’m not bad.’
‘I know you’re not.’ The younger one mollifies her sister.
‘I didn’t mean to break the jug. Something happens to me, everything went black, and I didn’t’ know where I was.’ She bites her lip, trying not to cry. ‘I don’t like it. I want Mother and she tells me I’m bad when I do.’
Bestselling author Harriet Evans is back with her seventh novel and it’s sure to do well. Set in the present day, Sophie Leigh is a British actress living the
Hollywood dream, or is she? Can she trust the people around her, and is her life really as glamorous as it’s portrayed to be? Sophie has an obsession, she is fascinated by the life, and disappearance, of another successful British actress Eve Noel, and as her own life begins to spin precariously out of her control, is the life of this now-forgotten actress the only reality she has to cling on to?
I haven’t read anything by Harriet Evans before, and having read Not Without You I aim to remedy this immediately. I loved this book. It’s an easy read with two distinct characters. Evans really does manage to capture the atmosphere of both eras that she writes about, which not every author who writes a book with two separate main characters manages. The Hollywood glamour of the 1960s is masterfully written about, with its darker and seedier side, whilst the
of today is heavily controlled by the media. It’s well written and witty with some fantastic characters which in my imagination could easily be replaced with well-known stars of today. Do I recommend this book, yes but would I want to be a Hollywood Hollywood actress after reading this? Most definitely not!
Miss Chapter x