The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon by Sarah Steele

If you love taking a journey with the novels of Kristin Hannah or Kathryn Hughes, this novel is for you.

To unravel that long-lost summer, she had to follow the thread…

Florence Connelly is broken hearted. Her marriage has collapsed under the weight of the loss she shares with her husband, and her beloved grandmother has just died. Even the joy she found in dressmaking is gone.

But things change when Flo opens a box of vintage 1960s dress patterns found inside her grandmother’s wardrobe. Inside each pattern packet is a fabric swatch, a postcard from Europe and a photograph of a mysterious young woman, Nancy Moon, wearing the hand-made dress.

Flo discovers that Nancy was a distant relation who took the boat train to Paris in 1962 and never returned. With no one to stay home for, Flo decides to follow Nancy’s thread. She unravels an untold story of love and loss in her family’s past. And begins to stitch the pieces of her own life back together.

What a wonderfully touching, beautifully written debut novel this is from Sarah Steele! Don’t you just love it when a book takes you by surprise and you embark on an unexpectedly moving journey with characters that you’ve fallen in love with? That’s exactly how I felt when I finished The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon-I adored this book so much that I really slowed down my reading towards the end of this gorgeous tale as I desperately tried to delay that inevitable final page and saying goodbye to Nancy and Flo.

This book takes a dual timeline approach to give its storyline an added mystery. In the present Flo has just had to say goodbye to her beloved Grandmother who has passed away. Whilst clearing through her things she discovers a set of dressmaking patterns from the 1960s that each contain a photo of a woman wearing the completed outfit. Flo doesn’t recognise her and her grandmothers friends are surprisingly tight lipped about the mysterious young woman. Flo is struggling with her marriage which has broken down due to an unresolved grief so when a friend suggests she follow Nancy Moons journey around Europe replicating the outfits she made for the places she visited, she decides to take use the opportunity to get away from all her problems. The reader also follows Nancy as she start her journey by visiting Paris in 1962 as she also tries to escape the devastating after effects of a broken heart. What can Flo learn about the mysterious Nancy and how will her journey end? I couldn’t wait to uncover the truth and those hidden secrets from the past.

I loved the idea behind The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon. Combining a love of dressmaking and travel in an uplifting and compelling story of friendship, family and forgiveness worked perfectly and both Flo and Nancy were likeable and relatable characters. I became completely enchanted by Nancy especially, she was such an engaging young woman and I just wanted her to live her best life and be loved as she deserved to be.

The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon is a memorable debut and I absolutely adored it. And throughout the month of September it’s only 99p for the ebook edition which, as the paperback isn’t out till June 2021, is a fantastic opportunity to discover Nancy Moon for yourself.

Highly recommended!

Sarah Steele was the director of Wordfest at Gloucester Cathedral in 2018, which culminated in a suffragette march led by Helen Pankhurst. After training in London as a classical pianist and violinist, Sarah joined the world of publishing as assistant at Hodder and Stoughton. She was for many years a freelance editor. She lives in Stroud. THE MISSING PIECES OF NANCY MOON is her debut novel.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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