My One True North by Milly Johnson

I am a huge Milly Johnson fan, have read everything she has ever written, and My One True North is one of her best. I liked the inclusion of characters and settings from previous books in the teashop and on the cruise ship; a seamless part of the story if you had not read the other books, but a nice bonus for her legions of fans.

Laurie and Pete meet at a bereavement counselling group – Molly’s Club – which takes place in the teashop featured in Milly’s book The Teashop on the Corner. Unbeknown to them both, their partners, Alex and Tara, had been killed in the same road accident six months previously. They had also been in a relationship and were planning a future together. Gradually we learn a little bit more, and a little bit more, until we have a full picture of what actually happened between Alex and Tara. By the end, I felt more sympathetic towards them; if they had been more open and honest, some of the pain and suffering they caused could have been avoided.  

Laurie is a solicitor and part of her job is dealing with lawsuits resulting from all the errors printed in the Daily Trumpet. Examples of these typos are printed throughout the book, in between chapters, and provide a bit of light relief. Pete is a fireman and the shock of having attended the fatal accident has taken its toll, and left him traumatised.

The story is well written and the characterisation excellent; some of the less-sympathetic characters seemed so real that I was glad when they got their comeuppance. The Yorkshire setting is a large part of what makes Milly Johnson’s books special. The grief and sadness are overwhelming at times, but it is ultimately an uplifting tale about the power of second chances.

I enjoyed the last few chapters about the cruise to see the Northern Lights, and catching up with the characters from Here Come the Girls. My only slight criticism would be that I found the ending a bit abrupt – I would have liked a bit more. I’ll just have to be patient until Milly’s next book comes out.    

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