This excellent novel is written with a firm hand on the tiller when it comes to saying exactly how its characters think and feel. But there is also great sensitivity and understanding in its descriptions of two damaged young people whose life-long habit of defensiveness nearly proves their undoing. Its main characters, Cassandra and Aidan, have the same mother but were separated early on, Cass into a stable, loving family and Aidan into a sad succession of foster and care homes. They meet each other in their teens when both are going through different types of crisis. Cass despairs of the way her buttoned-up feelings do not allow her ever to be spontaneous while Aidan can never believe that anyone could possibly think well of him.
Set in London, various twists and turns take place before each find their way towards a well-deserved personal salvation. Very well written, their story proves utterly engrossing as disaster every now and again threatens to strike before it is headed off at the last moment. Neither character is perfect, but both are endearing, for Keren David never sells any of her characters short, except for one over the top villain. But he only has a minor part in a cast full of recognisable human beings all trying to do their best often in difficult circumstances. Recommended for any reader in search of fiction set squarely in our own times and never afraid to duck challenges.