Just like the dozen other Sheila O’Flanagan novels I’ve read, this is another enjoyable book. And I can also imagine this being turned into a screenplay and a movie made out of it.
Gemma didn’t regret divorcing David; marrying him had been a mistake. Soon after, David met Orla and married her. Why would Orla, only 24, a successful and independent career woman, want to marry David, a divorced 40-year-old with two children (Keelin, 14 and Ronan, 11)? Would their marriage last?
Just a couple of months after the honeymoon, the newlyweds are in trouble. Orla feels like she’s been held together by pins but her best friend remarks that “one wrong move and the whole thing comes apart”.
Orla chases David out of their matrimonial home and he starts to realise he’s always regretting when it’s too late because there’s no way Gemma (and later, even the children) would want him back. To Orla’s shock, she finds her best friend has gone to bed with her ex-boyfriend, her first love, whom she meets again and thinks of reconnecting with.
Then there is an interesting development in Gemma’s life, as well as the children’s. There are also stories from the extended families (on both Gemma’s and David’s sides). There are so many layers in the lives of these characters that I think the title is a clever one because there are parts of a person’s life that are never really over. They may become the less important part of the overall patchwork quilt that makes up life’s experieces, but they’re always there all the same. One cannot simply close the door and pretend that they’d never existed.