My name is Lucas Moreau. I live in Le Touquet, France. I found your balloon on a beach near Boulogne-sur-Mer yesterday. It made it over one ocean and over 100 miles”
– Dear Emmie Blue
[ About the Book ]
Emmie Blue has a secret…
A long time ago, Emmie Blue released a red balloon with a secret message hidden inside – and against all odds, across hundreds of miles of ocean, it was found on a beach in France by a boy called Lucas.
Fourteen years later, on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, Emmie hopes that Lucas is finally about to kiss her. She never expected him to announce that he was marrying someone else!
Suddenly Emmie’s dreams are shattered and the one person in her life she can rely on is slipping through her fingers. But what if Lucas isn’t her forever? What if her love story is only just beginning…
[ My Review ]
Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis was published August 6th with Trapeze Books and is described as ‘the love story that everyone is talking about this summer’. Not a book I would normally pick up but these are not normal times. And guess what? I was swept away with it, like the red balloon that Emmie Blue released many years ago, a balloon that found its way across the channel to France and into the hands of teenager Lucas Moreau.
Lia Louis was inspired by the notion of a stranger finding her ‘message in a bottle’
“The idea of someone you wouldn’t have otherwise crossed paths with finding a piece of you – a note, a letter, or in Emmie Blue’s case, a secret – has always been something I’ve daydreamed about. A total stranger from another town, another country, by chance and when either of you least expect it. When writing Dear Emmie Blue, I got to totally indulge this daydream. Writing about two lonely strangers an ocean apart, brought together through a single balloon carried on the wind, was the perfect escape.”
– Lia Louis
Emmie Blue had a very lonely childhood with no father on the scene and a very absent mother. One day Emmie decided to release a red balloon containing a secret message, in the hope that someone somewhere would find it. Emmie was amazed when she received a message from Lucas Moreau, living in Touquet in France. Lucas had recently moved from London to France and was thrilled to be in contact with this new pen-friend. As the years passed they kept up communication and became the best of friends. Emmie was welcomed into the Moreau family and over the years became one of their own. A very strong bond developed between Lucas and Emmie, one she always hoped would develop further. Over fourteen years Emmie and Lucas were inseparable, every secret shared. For Emmie her life took on a glow. Never having had much attention growing up, she soaked up the love given her by the Moreau family and shared secrets with Lucas that she trusted would remain so.
But Emmie’s life plan took a major blow when Lucas announced he was getting married and it wasn’t to Emmie. Emmie was to be his ‘best-woman’. With her world now shattered Emmie retreated into herself, unable to accept that the love of her life was slipping through her fingers.
“In nine months, my best friend of fourteen years, the man I am in love with, is getting married to a woman he loves. A woman who isn’t me. And I am to stand right there, at the altar, beside him, as his best woman“
Emmie had never set out to achieve too much in life, as her past always sat heavily on her shoulder. Working in low-paid employment let her hide away from others and just plod along with the day-to-day stuff. She lodged in the house of an older lady but Emmie never really connected with her, never showed an interest in getting to know her.
Emmie’s friend Rosie is the one person in her life that she can completely rely on for a shoulder to cry on, for a laugh and for 100% support every time. Emmie knows that she needs to work through this life-altering news but with her life now upturned Emmie is finding it difficult to see any light at the end of the tunnel.
As events unfold Emmie is totally unprepared for what she discovers. Following Lucas’ announcement, Emmie starts to look at things a little differently as her eyes are opened and secrets are slowly revealed. Emmie has always remained in the shadows, at the beck and call of any who shout. Has Emmie’s time come? Can Emmie stand up and be counted as a person, a friend, a daughter, a lover?
Dear Emmie Blue is a very appealing and sweet (but not saccharine!) tale packed with humour and romance. Lia Louis has taken an old idea and made it her own in this unexpectedly moving tale of a young woman trying to figure out who she is and where she fits in in the world. The story flows perfectly as the reader is taken back in time and we witness the developing of the relationship between Lucas and Emmie. Circumstances play a leading role in this delightful tale. All the characters are wonderfully portrayed and very easy to visualise.
Dear Emmie Blue sensitively highlights many relevant societal themes, all woven very delicately, by Lia Louis, into this very charming story.
Dear Emmie Blue really is the perfect antidote to these chaotic days, a story that will warm your heart and leave a smile on your face. What more could you ask for?
[ Bio ]
Lia Louis is a writer from Hertfordshire where she lives with her partner and three young children. Before raising a family, she worked as a freelance copywriter and proofreader. She was the 2015 winner of Elle magazine’s annual writing competition and has been a contributor for Bloomsbury’s Writers and Artist’s blog for aspiring writers.
She is the author of Somewhere Close to Happy and Dear Emmie Blue.
Twitter ~ @LisforLia