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Messy, Wonderful Us

by Catherine Isaac

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Family Drama Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on Messy, Wonderful Us

Both heart warming and achy, how gorgeously unpredictable and wonderful is this! Secrets spill and emotions spin when best friends Alice and Ed fly to Italy to find out the truth about her mother. I think I stepped into this novel expecting a relationship story, I also found a beautifully balanced and convincing tale of family mystery and intrigue. Catherine Isaac gradually completed the intricate jigsaw surrounding Alice and Ed, ensuring my attention was well and truly snared while also allowing me to enjoy the gentle unravelling of the story. Italy unveils its charm as another tale travels alongside Alice and Ed’s journey, revealing hidden thoughts and feelings. I love it when I read a book and have absolutely no idea where the ending is going to take me. I ranged from apprehensive to enchanted and inspired, while an overall feeling of hope kept me company throughout. I absolutely adored the unexpected and delightful Messy, Wonderful Us and so was compelled to choose it as a Liz Robinson pick of the month.

Liz Robinson

Messy, Wonderful Us Synopsis

'An impossibly seductive love story, underpinned by a heart-breaking secret' Rosie Walsh

From Richard & Judy Book club author Catherine Isaac comes the emotional and uplifting story of love, loss, friendship and a letter that changes everything.

In late 1983, a letter arrives from Italy, containing secrets so unthinkable that it is hidden away, apparently forever. More than three decades later, it is found . . . by the last person who was ever supposed to see it.

When Allie opens an envelope in her grandmother's house, it changes everything she knows about her family - and herself.

With the truth liable to hurt those she loves most, she hires a private detective to find out what happened to her late mother in the summer before Allie was born. Taking leave from her job as a research scientist, she is led to the sun-drenched shores of Lake Garda, accompanied by her best friend Ed.

But the secrets that emerge go far beyond anything they were expecting. Now, Allie must find the courage to confront her family's tangled past and reshape her own future.

Messy, Wonderful Us Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

Gripping family drama full of secrets. Full review

Cheryl Watson

From cover to cover, I read every word. A supreme holiday read, light and bright but quick moving, whether on a beach or giving yourself a day off to sit in your chair to read - this is the book! Full review

Marjorie Lacy

I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but 'family secrets, hidden love and Italy 'was always going to be a winner. Full review


Perfect escapism. Catherine Isaac captures the heat and heart of Italy, mixing in the trials of relationships we can all understand too well. Full review

Tiffany Chevis

A really nice holiday read. Very easy to get into and it carried you along all the way to the end. Full review


Messy, Wonderful Us Press Reviews


'Family secrets, hidden love and Italy - the perfect combination for a mesmerising read' Santa Montefiore

'Uplifting, emotional and surprising... another sure-fire bestseller' Hannah Beckerman

'I adored it ... a gorgeous sunny setting, exploring love, friendship and the twistiest of family entanglements' Jill Mansell

'Intriguing and pacy' Libby Page

'I fell head over heels in love with this book! A page-turning mystery, a wonderfully uplifting story about love in all its forms and characters so real, I still wonder what they're doing' Katy Regan

'I absolutely loved it, what a rich and engaging story' Dani Atkins

'This novel is a delight' Goop

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781471178078
Publication date: 05/03/2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781471178078
Publication date: 5th March 2020
Author: Catherine Isaac
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 416 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Family Drama, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month, Relationship Stories,
Collections: 40+ Novels That Feature Friendship,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Adult & contemporary romance, Romance,

About Catherine Isaac

Catherine Isaac is the pseudonym of the British Sunday Times bestselling author Jane Costello. Her new novel You Me Everything will be published in the UK and in the US in early 2018.

More About Catherine Isaac

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