Restless, troubled Rosamond Hunter has spent most of her life running away from the past, filled with guilt about her involuntary role in her mother’s death. When her nursing job brings her back to Fairfleet, her childhood home, to care for an elderly refugee, she is forced to confront the ghosts that have haunted her for so long.
Her patient, Benny Gault, first came to Fairfleet, England, in 1939, having fled Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport train.
As his health fails, he and Rosamond begin to confide in each other. At first their tentative friendship revolves around the love they both shared for Rosamond’s glamorous grandmother, Harriet, but as their trust in each other grows, guilty secrets are exposed and history is turned on its head.
From the acclaimed author of Playing with the Moon and Restitution comes a beautiful and haunting tale of friendship, redemption and forgiveness across generations.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Eliza Graham spent her biology lessons sitting at the back of the classroom, reading Jean Plaidy novels behind her textbooks. In English and history, however, she sat right at the front, hanging on to every word. At home she read books while getting dressed and cleaning her teeth, and during school holidays she visited the public library several times a day.
At Oxford University she read English literature on a course that regarded anything written after about 1930 as too modern to be included. She retains a love of Victorian novels and the poetry of the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.
Eliza’s first novel, Playing with the Moon, was longlisted for Richard & Judy’s Summer Read category and named one of the World Book Day 2007 ‘Books to Talk About.’
Find out more about Eliza on her website, www.elizagraham.co.uk, and follow her on Twitter @Eliza_Graham.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.75 stars *recieved from netgalley* The One I Was tells the story of a woman, Rosamond, who returns against her better judgement to one of her childhood "homes", Fairfleet, as a nurse for a man dying of cancer named Benny. Rosamond was reluctant to return because of past events that caused her and her family to leave Fairfleet. Benny, too, had grown up in the house as he was taken in by Rosamond's grandmother as part of the Kindertransport during World War II. Not only are they tied together through Fairfleet, but also through Rosamond's grandmother, Lady Dorner, who was Benny's benefactor for the Kindertransport. The story follows Rosamond confronting those events and people that had haunted her while Benny is telling the story of how he came to live in Fairfleet and of his time there while coming to terms with his guilt through writing. I really enjoyed the book. It was well-written and the whole aspect of the Kindetransport was clearly researched, something I think a lot of authors now fail to do, so that was definitely a positive. Pretty much every aspect of this book was multifaceted. I liked how it spanned three different time periods--World War II and a little beyond, the early 1980s and the present, as well as how it was told from the perspectives of both Rosamond and Benny. It was perfect in the sense that there was a lot going on, but it all related back to the same core, so it wasn't absolutely all over the place. I really enjoyed getting to know them both as children and as adults. I loved how Graham intertwined their lives, involving some of the same people in both Rosie and Benny's times living in Fairfleet. Some aspects were a little bit predictable, but today I think it's pretty hard not to look at some characters in any type of media and not be suspicious or expect something bad from them. Other aspects were definitely unexpected. This was not a book that lacks a dramatic, unsuspected ending. The one thing I didn't really like was that it took me a while to get into the book. Once I was really into it there were a few spots that it dried up and got slow again. That aside, I'd highly recommend it, even for those who aren't big into historical fiction.
The One I Was Eliza Graham brings to life a period during WWII that shows England at its finest—providing refuge to the Jewish children of Nazi Germany. In this novel that alternates between the present day and its past counterpart, forty-one-year-old Rosamond Hunter is determined to unleash the demons from her childhood, that brief but horrific period when her recently divorced, fragile mother brought Rosamond and her younger brother to live at Fairfleet, the country estate her family has owned for generations. A series of unforeseen tragic events soon result in the loss of the estate, and changes Rosamond’s life forever. Now as an adult and dedicated to nursing the terminally ill, Rosamond has been hired to care for Benny Gault, a renowned writer and current owner of Fairfleet where he once lived as a young Jewish refugee attracted to Rosamond’s adventurous grandmother. The troubled lives of Rosamond and Benny cross and intertwine in a variety of ways, none of which are as they seem to be and make this novel all the more intriguing. One I didn’t want to leave until I finished it. Well done, author.