Now and Then Friends

Now and Then Friends

by Kate Hewitt
4.0 3

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Now and Then Friends 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Suze-Lavender 7 months ago
Rachel and Claire were best friends when they were children, but something caused a rift between them. Rachel was never able to leave Hartley-by-the-Sea, she's been stuck taking care of her family for years. Since her mother became disabled Rachel has been looking after her younger sisters. She also has a three-year-old nephew to partially raise, so her days are always filled. She supports everyone by cleaning houses of wealthy people. One of those houses is being owned by Claire's family. The house hasn't been used as a permanent residence for years, but now Claire is back. What does that mean for Rachel? Claire always did what she was told. Other people made the decisions in her life and she just went along with everything. Because of this she now has nothing left, she doesn't have a job, she isn't together with her fiancé any longer and she has to start over completely. She's back in Hartley-by-the-Sea friendless and alone. She could use a shoulder to lean on and her brother Andrew asks Rachel to keep an eye on his fragile sister. However, after everything that happened between them, Rachel isn't happy to spend time with her former best friend and is feeling hurt all over again. Will she and Claire be able to find their way back to each other eventually or is it too late for them to make up? Now and Then Friends is an impressive story about two former friends who could use a second chance together. Both Rachel and Claire are struggling. Claire has never had a true identity. She let other people direct her and never made any decisions for herself. This was quite shocking at first. She's sweet, but doesn't know how to live and she doesn't have a backbone. I enjoyed witnessing her grow and turn into the woman she's supposed to be. For me that was one of the best parts of the story. Because of Claire's behavior Rachel was hurt and those feelings keep resurfacing. Rachel is quite bitter because of the unfairness of her situation. She's incredibly smart, but can't follow her dreams because she has to provide for her family. She tries to remain in control and sometimes becomes too much because of this. I could easily feel her pain and think Kate Hewitt has done an amazing job describing the feelings of both of her main characters. Now and Then Friends is set in Hartley-by-the-Sea, which is a beautiful place with interesting inhabitants. I had a lot of fun reading about it. She combines this with a gorgeous moving story about friendship and family. I loved this combination and think it worked out very well. Now and Then Friends is a fantastic book, it has many emotional layers and there are plenty of surprising twists and turns. Kate Hewitt's writing has a wonderful warmth that always manages to pull me in straight away. I love her books and highly recommend them.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings The second in a series, this story centers on Rachel and Claire who were friends in primary school, but grew apart before they ever left their small hometowns. Rachel stayed there and has been the backbone of her family as her father left, her mother had a tragic accident and her sisters aren't quite stepping up. Claire returns after a stint in rehab and a potential break up with a fiance and is trying to decide what is next for herself. Just as in the first book in the series, this book is told in alternating perspectives and both Rachel and Claire have the opportunity to tell their story. And just like the first book in the series, the female friendships are the foundation of the story and of course there is romance involved, but the drama of their friendship is the center.
Lane_Hill_House More than 1 year ago
Thursday, July 21, 2016 Now and Then Friends: A Hartley-by-the-Sea Novel by Kate Hewitt, © 2016 A Hartley-By-The-Sea Novel Series, Book 2 She'd grown up here, walked down this street a thousand times during her five years at the primary school, but it felt unfamiliar to her now. The years at uni, and then in London and Portugal, had separated her from the life she'd once had in Hartley-by-the-Sea. She felt as if she were looking through the wrong end of a kaleidoscope when she recalled her years here. --Claire, Now and Then Friends, 82 Coming "home" ~ does it ever happen? To truly find where you are is home? Claire West has returned to her childhood home as a respite against all she has known; overcrowding family, a lost relationship that likely never was anyway... Can relinquished friends be returned? Can offenses be forgiven, however unintentional? Days crowded into days and life moved on once separated. A bused to private school put a hedge between those in the village. Returning to Four Gables she has forgotten, or perhaps never realized, the outcome from those left behind. Rachel Campbell has her hands full with her cleaning contracts. Caring for her bedridden mother and watching out for her siblings and her hours are pretty occupied. Used to being responsible for her younger sister, Lily, Rachel wants her to succeed at Cumberland Academy, ready for her future schooling at Durham University, seeing to her studies. Cue in sister, Meghan, and her young son, Nathan, adding a mix to the household. Having to "parent" with her dad not in sight for years, Rachel's life has pretty much been sorted out for her. Until coming smack into her earlier days remembrance. Down the beach road and up the steep lane that led to Four Gables, her next cleaning job...Claire West. Memories submerged, long hidden and kept in control, begin to surface. "If you leave here, no matter for how long, it's not the same as staying," she said as they descended from the coastal path to the beach on the far end of the village. The tide was out, and the beach was a lovely long stretch of wet sand that glimmered under the evening sunlight, the rocks smoothed to shining darkness. Claire breathed in the salty, sea-damp air, every part of her reveling in the purity of the moment. --Abby, Ibid., 202 Stretching out, making friends, new to Claire, she finds it isn't so awkward as she suspected it would be. Even with Dan, her employer at the Village Shop/Post Office was edging in toward unexplained comfort; an extension of who she could be, emerging. Now and Then Friends is conversational as daily activity is sorted out in new ventures of trust. The author has brought out lifelong habits changing, bringing newness to those around, placing them in a new response. Seeing lives from different perspectives ~ Claire's, her brother, Andrew; Rachel, her sisters, Meghan and Lily, and their view of their lives intermingle upon the page. ***Thank you to author Kate Hewitt for sending me a print copy of Now and Then Friends for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Life hasn’t turn out the way Rachel Campbell or Claire West expected. They were both best friends when they were in elementary school many years ago. Now, they meet anew when Claire West returns to Hartley-By-The-Sea and the awkwardness between the two is obvious to everyone else in the small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. But no one knows what the problem between these two characters is and the two women really can’t put their finger on the problem either. Suffice to say that both women are “empty and a tad angry” inside. Rachel’s Mom broke her back years ago and is an invalid; thus, Rachel must care for her family as her father has been gone for years as well. She cleans houses to make a small living and it’s obvious hers is a hard life. Claire West, on the other hands, grew up as a rich girl who could have anything she wanted. But now she’s returned, she has to honestly admit her life has been one big “show” run by her family and then fiancé. Now she’s seeking something new but excessively timid as she’s never learned to function alone. While this sounds like a dour story, it isn’t that bad at all. There are enough snarky comments to add some humor to Rachel and Claire’s situations. Obviously, from the title, these two women might have a chance as good friends again, but first they have to get over their bitterness, fear and animosity toward anyone who reaches out to them with compassion. One can see how these chronic attitudes can wear on other characters, but the chemistry between the two women just might thaw enough to make a different future. Ironically, even though there are brief, bleak scenes, there’s a magic in this story that keeps the reader hoping for something better than what these two women have at the beginning of this novel. Life is as hard as one makes it. Those who know Rachel and Claire also know that still waters run deep and turbulent, and the reader gets to see the unwinding of some rather nasty background junk. Stuff sometimes only friends can unfreeze. Very nicely written and recommended contemporary fiction!