I have been making a special effort to read more recently. For years I have allowed my smart phone to take over and only read a proper book on holiday. But these last few months I decided to tackle my insomnia, turn off the phone earlier and go to bed with a book! I have been sharing with you some of the books I have enjoyed and I was asked recently to do a review and take part in a book blog tour! Today that book tour comes to Fifty & Fab and I am delighted to be sharing with you my review of the book and a little bit more about the author.
No One But You is the debut novel of Tessa Levy, she is 88 years old and her book is a fictionalised memoir and family saga.
And at 88 years old Tessa is proving that it is never too late to follow your dreams or try something new! Something that Fifty & Fab totally agrees with!
I absolutely loved the book. I enjoyed every page. And there was quite a lot about the story that was similar to some of my own experiences of first love, making it just a little more special and emotional for me. It got me thinking and that to me is a sign of a good book, something that makes you think about your own life, hopes and dreams.
No One But You was inspired by the life of Tessa Levy - she co-wrote the book with her youngest daughter Shelley Cassidy. From war-torn London to the high life of America and back again, this is an enchanting story that portrays a young girl's yearning for adventure, opportunity and ultimately enduring love, on both sides of the Atlantic.
The book is easy to read, with a nod to history and real life. And I always gravitate to a romance, I adore a bit of true love and a happy ending. Triumph over adversity.
Tessa was the youngest child of a large family and had the responsibility of caring for her beloved dying mother at a young age. When her father secretly marries another woman who moves into their family home with her three children, Tessa's world is shattered.
She seeks solace from distant cousins, who she has never met, in America but who she has been secretly writing to for months. When Tessa is forced to reveal the truth, an unexpected twist of fate sees her escaping her tumultuous life in London - aged just 17 - to travel across the Atlantic to stay with her American cousins.
A year and a half later, Tessa returns to England as a glamorous young woman, having fallen in love for the first time and discovered her true identify as a strong, empowered and incredible woman. However, as she crosses the cultural divide and struggles to resettle, despite her family's best efforts, to reintegrate her into their Jewish community in London, Tessa goes through a series of challenges, relationships and roles.
Eventually she meets the man she will marry but suffers another painful, premature, family death. She embarks on motherhood and a career with her trademark resilience. However life continues to challenge her happiness and she finds herself torn between the two loves of her life - one in England, the other in America and both very different.
The underlying theme of the book - is it possible to love two men in one lifetime?
Tessa Levy was born in the East End of London, the youngest of six children in a Jewish family. Like her brothers in the fashion business and her husband in the nightclub trade of Soho, she made a success of her antique business - a truly entrepreneurial woman in an era when business was dominated by men.
Tessa now resides in West London, opposite Hyde Park and maintains one food on either side of the pond.
No One But You is Tessa Levy's first book, based on real events - a family story of displacement, hardship, disease and death but also of inclusion, friendship, love and success.
It crosses the divide not only between two cultural differences but also two faiths and families.
Asked what inspired her to write No One But You, Tessa says ....
No One But You is based on my life story - a story that I've told plenty of people and all of whom said it sounded like a novel. I didn't want it to be a straightforward autobiography though so I worked hard with my daughter Shelley to inject plenty of fictional elements to add even more spice and adventure, heartbreak and tragedy. It's fun to speak to people who have read the book and who are guessing which bits are real and which are fiction!
I am attending the official book launch party in London on Thursday evening and I am really excited about maybe meeting Tessa and her daughter - and yes I have the same question - which bits are fiction and which bits are real!
No One But You by Tessa Levy is due for release on Thursday 24th May and can be pre-ordered on Amazon on the link above..
And readers of Fifty & Fab can enter my giveaway on social media to win a signed copy of the book - please head over to my Instagram page and follow me then look out for my post on Friday 25th May where I will give you all the details!
What a perfect read for your summer holiday!
No One But You by Tessa Levy available from Amazon, paperback or kindle from 24th May.
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book to read and review, all the opinions are entirely my own. This post contains affiliate links.
Not Dressed as Lamb
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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