Then. Now. Always is a study of love, life and human relationships. We all need love to function. It comes in different forms, all of which are valuable.
The novel encapsulates hope, using the motif of rainbows. “I come here every morning to watch the rainbows.” Rainbows offer the promise of something brighter to come after the rain. “The darkness that had enveloped her is pierced now with brightness: the future contains hope.”
Another theme is that of appearances. People may show one face to the world but the person behind the smile may be very different.
Everyone needs friends. Friends who will support you no matter what. The novel has a very beautiful friendship in it which the reader observes.
Family is important. Family relationships can be difficult. Past hurts may influence relationships. Fractured families may project hurt and insecurities but ultimately everyone is looking for love. “Family is everything.”
Fantasy and reality collide within the novel. “Fantasies are safe… Reality is very different.” With the novel being written in the first person, the reader is privy to the fantasies of Hannah. The reader also witnesses when reality kicks in.
Isabelle Broom has some wonderful vivid descriptions within the novel. The reader experiences a real treat as they travel to the warmth of a Spanish village. The scenery comes alive for the reader who travels without ever leaving the sofa. Isabelle Broom’s novels are always set in exotic locations, tantalising the reader’s senses and contrasting with the darker British weather.
Isabelle Broom has presented a fabulous study of what is important in life – family, friendship and love in its various guises. Then. Now. Always is a delectable read and highly recommended.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.