On the morning that changes everything, Aruna Ahmed Jones walks out of her ground-floor Victorian apartment in London wearing only jeans and a t-shirt, carrying nothing more substantial than a handbag, and keeps on walking. Leaving behind the handsome Dr. Patrick Jones, her husband of less than a year, Aruna heads to Heathrow, where she boards a plane bound for Singapore and her old life. Educated and beautiful, Aruna has a desperate need to risk it all. But why? Waiting for her is a messy past and a perfect past lover she had once abandoned without even saying goodbye – a story left unfinished – until now.
Aruna is not running away from home, she is running back to the home she always had, before it became impossible for her to stay. Before her father, the only family she’d ever known, passed away. Before she tried, and failed, to create a life and a family with her best friend and lover, Jazz. Before her doctor delivered a complicated psychological diagnosis she’d rather forget. After years of fleeing the ghosts that continue to haunt her, Aruna is about to discover that running away is really the easy part; it is coming home—making peace with her past, with Jazz and those they have loved—that is hard.
I sat down with this book yesterday, intending to read just a few pages, and found myself unable to put it down. Though at first I was uncertain about Roooney and Jazz, as the novel progressed I grew to understand them and their unique and troubling situation. I thought the author's handling of the sensitive subject matter was masterful, and appreciated that she let the truth build slowly, revealing itself only gradually (both to the reader and to the main characters).
The prose flowed freely, and did an excellent job of capturing the essence of the shifting locales. Both Rooney and Jazz grew emotionally throughout the novel, and I found the ending quite satisfying and realistic. This book was not what I expected, but quickly became more than I could have hoped. Highly recommended!