I Couldn’t Love You More by Esther Freud
Rosaleen is young, beautiful and still a schoolgirl when, in the early Sixties, she meets the famous sculptor Felix Lehmann. Felix is Jewish, bohemian; Rosaleen, the tearaway middle daughter of Irish publicans. So their affair running away to France to gorge on oysters, boozing and eating cakes in Soho surrounded by Felix’s fellow artists, Rosaleen modelling for him in his London studio has to be kept a secret from her parents. But everything changes when Rosaleen finds herself pregnant. Evicted from her flat and dismissed from her job, she travels to Ireland to a convent that promises to house her until her baby is safely delivered. The reality that meets her there, however, is far from what she has been promised –
Kate lives in present day London with her young daughter, her promise and energy as an artist stifled by the unhappiness of her marriage. But something is stirring in Kate; the courage to face a mystery in her past that might just be to do with the visions of a tree that have begun to haunt her work and dreams. Close to breaking point, she heads to Ireland, not yet fully knowing what she hopes to find.
Aoife sits at her husband Cashell’s bedside as he lies dying, and tells him the story of their lifetime together- of their courtship in wartime London, their three daughters, their return from exile. But there is a crucial part of the story missing, and, with time running out, Aoife needs Cashell to tell her- what became of Rosaleen?
Captivating and gorgeously written, I Couldn’t Love Your More is an unforgettable novel about love, motherhood, secrets and betrayal and how only the truth can set us free.