2022 Reviews · contemporary fiction · new release

New Release Book Review: The Way From Here by Jane Cockram

Title: The Way From Here

Author: Jane Cockram

Published: March 2nd 2022

Publisher: HQ Fiction – AU

Pages: 320

Genres:  Fiction, Contemporary

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4 stars

A cache of letters from beyond the grave leads a bereaved sister on a journey from Australia to an idyllic French coastal town – and back in time to a golden summer where it all went wrong. An addictive, atmospheric and evocative mystery that examines how we become who we are and whether we can truly know those we love.

The Way from Here heralds the arrival of a formidable new talent. Jane Cockram will sweep you away with this tale of sisterly love, family secrets and one woman’s search for redemption from beyond the grave. With unforgettable characters, exquisite writing and a breathtaking landscape, this beautiful novel will leave you enchanted.’ Sally Hepworth

Growing up, the Anderson sisters were close, even though they were different. Susie, the wild one, wanted an adventurous life while Mills followed a safer path.

When Susie dies suddenly from a fall when hanging a string of lights for her fortieth birthday party, Mills is grief-stricken, even though they had drifted apart. Then Mills receives a bundle of mysterious letters from her sister to be read in the case of her death. Each letter instructs her to visit a place special to Susie, both to spread her ashes but also to uncover some truths Susie has long kept hidden from her family. Truths that seem to date back to one golden summer in an idyllic French coastal town, where a dark and shocking event was the beginning of an unravelling thread. A thread that leads both to Mills’ present and her mother Margaret’s past.

What choices connect the past to the present? What family secrets will surface and change the future?

In this twisty, evocative mystery, Jane Cockram flips the looking glass to reveal the lines of deception and love, truth and regret that run through families.

Review:

‘How had Susie ended up here? She hoped her sister’s secrets were easier to uncover than those of the  île de Clair.’

A tale of family bonds, sisterhood, connections, buried secrets, love and destiny, The Way From Here is the second novel from Australian novelist Jane Cockram. Powerful, revealing and involving, The Way From Here signals the start of a very successful writing career for author Jane Cockram.

When a voice from beyond the grave communicates with her family via a cache of letters, plenty of secrets are revealed. When Susie dies unexpectedly, her grieving sister is sent on a journey to unlock a number of hidden truths that directly link back to their family fold. With mysteries to solve, implicit instructions to follow, pathways to take and experiences to be had, Mills is sent on an expedition that strikes at the very heart of her family unit. The collection letters left behind by Susie each reveals a clue to various key events and experiences connected to the heart of this intriguing family. As the past converges with the present, Mills will learn how decisions made in the past have impacted her life right now and possibly in the future.

Family mysteries are my favourite brand of fiction and Jane Cockram dazzles with this contemporary family drama piece. A sensational web of secrets, untold truths and shocks are presented to the reader in The Way From Here. Those who love a potent multi-generational family saga will find this book highly appealing.

Told in two parts and fifty-seven chapters that alternate character perspectives, The Way From Here is the follow up novel to author Jane Cockram’s 2019 release, The House of Brides. An immersive, touching and drama filled read, The Way From Here is a book that I consumed from start to finish a little too easily. With the added bonus of a series of letters released posthumously from a pivotal character, Jane Cockram’s latest kept me thoroughly engaged. Although The Way From Here shifts protagonist viewpoints and timeframes, the prose is very accessible and the reader is never left in the dark. The transitions from place and person are clear, ensuring that this book is easy to enjoy.

What I appreciated the most about The Way From Here was the setting base. I loved being taken on a journey to the island of île de Clair, it was such a quaint coastal town. I know I didn’t want to leave this idyllic locale once my time with this book reached a close. Cockram has done an excellent job in my eyes, she has worked hard to develop a setting base that is vivid, enviable and complimentary of the book’s direction in general. Another area that worked for me in The Way From Here was the characterisation. Cockram has devised a set of full-bodied characters with both agreeable and unlikeable figures. I connected to Susie being the same age as her. It was also very easy to get along with much of the cast of this novel and I definitely valued the company of the general character set in The Way From Here. Conclusion wise, Cockram ends things perfectly, leaving the reader buzzing with satisfaction.

With themes of trust, deception, lies, reflection, love, family, jealously and repentance leading the way, The Way From Here is definitely the kind of fiction tale that I love to recommend.  

The Way From Here by Jane Cockram was published on 2nd March 2022 by HQ Fiction – AU. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Way From Here, Jane Cockram, visit here.

*I wish to thank Harlequin Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

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