After You've Gone by Joan Lingard
Beautifully written and emotionally charged, After You've Gone is a fascinating account of one woman's struggle to find happiness and independence in 1920s society. When Willa met Tommy Costello, a handsome, smooth-tongued sailor, she thought he had finally found what she was looking for. With no family of her own, Willa longed for unity, love and adventure. Tommy appeared to offer her all of that. But life is never simple - Now a wife and mother, Willa is left behind with her controlling mother-in-law when Tommy begins a year-long round-the-world tour with the Navy. Her only escape is through reading books. And it is at the local library that she meets Richard Fitzwilliam, whose friendship gradually begins to change Willa's life. Despite her initial reluctance, she finds herself beginning to enjoy - even prefer - the new life being offered to her. But how long can it last, as Tommy's steady progress around the world will eventually bring him back home?