The One That Got Away

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Pub Date 2 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 2 Jan 2023

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Description

A gripping and powerful story about first love defying all odds, for fans of One Day and The Paper Palace.

Benjamin's world is turned upside down the day he meets Clara. Instinctively, he knows that she is his person and he is hers, but the devastating events of one of their last nights at university will take their lives in very different directions.

20 years later, a bombing is reported in the city where Clara and Ben met, and she is pulled back to a place she tries not to remember and the first love she could never forget. Searching for Ben, Clara prays that twenty years of regret is about to end.

But is it too late to put right what went wrong?

This is not a love story, but it is a story of first love, of the mistakes people make, and the lengths they'll go to put things right.

A gripping and powerful story about first love defying all odds, for fans of One Day and The Paper Palace.

Benjamin's world is turned upside down the day he meets Clara. Instinctively, he knows that...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9781803289960
PRICE £4.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 82 members


Featured Reviews

Thank you netgalley for allowing me to read an arc of this book.
The author called it a mid-life crisis book, and i see what she means but i enjoyed reading this
Some parts of it were a bit dark but the overall experience was nice.

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Benjamin's world is turned upside down the day he meets Clara. Instinctively, he knows that she is his person and he is hers, but the events of one of their last nights at university will take their lives in very different directions.
20 years later, an explosion is reported in the city where Clara and Ben met, and she is pulled back to a place she tries not to remember and the first love she could never forget. Searching for Ben, Clara prays that twenty years of silence is about to end.
But is it too late to put right what went wrong?
Really enjoyable read totally recommend
Thank You NetGalley and Aria & Aries
I just reviewed The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon. #TheOneThatGotAway #NetGalley

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Thank you, Netgalley, and the publisher for the eARC!
This book was about college lovers and their story during and after college. The story jumped back and forth between present day and the past which made the plot choppy at times. There was a twist at the end but then the story ended- it would’ve been nice to read more about the characters during present day and even in the future. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book- it held my interest throughout the entire story.

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A must read book! This is the first book I've read by Charlotte Rixon and I just simply fell in love with the writing style.
The One That Got Away was a fabulous book with incredibly smart and witty writing.
Characterization was excellent.
Brilliant in every way; making me laugh and cry while filling me with nostalgia and longing.

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Aria & Aries,
Thank you for your generosity and gifting a copy of this approved eARC!

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I enjoyed this book immensely, although I believe it is geared more towards Women's Fiction than Romance.

This book deals with heavy topics, so it may be a good idea to research the content before reading.

What happens if it's the right people, but the wrong time? What if one decision can completely change the path of a couple's lives?

These are questions asked in THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY..

Ben and Clara met in college. We see Clara in present time at her journalism job when the soccer stadium in her city is blown up, literally. She remembers her old love, Ben, was a huge soccer fan and she is sure he was there at the time of the explosion. She leaves her husband in the evening to find Ben.

We get flashbacks of her and Ben's time together in college. We also get their time together after something tore them apart. We see they are both absolutely failing without the other.

They are both terribly flawed and tend to stay in their ruts.

This story could be viewed as a midlife crisis, and I suppose it is. However, I think all of us have at one point or another in our lives, wondered "what if" this happened instead of that?

This is not a cheerful second-chance rom-com, but it does give us a look into the lives of two characters who are ordinary. And that's a good thing seeing as how most of us are normal, ordinary, relatable human beings ourselves.

Thank you NetGalley and Aria & Aries for an e-book copy of THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY by Charlotte Rixon to review.

I rate THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY five out of five stars.

I

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Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review. The One That Got Away is available on February 2, 2023.
* second chance romance
* dual POV
⚠️ check trigger warnings!
The book has a dual POV narration that alters between present day and the past. The two main characters, Clara and Benjamin, meet and fell in love at university. Both characters are flawed in different ways which makes them each feel like they don't fit in their university community. Despite both feeling displaced, the characters came from very different backgrounds which causes issues in their relationship. Clara grew up wealthy and privileged. On the other hand, Benjamin has to work hard to create opportunities for himself-all while he faces pressure from his father to make something of himself.
The main characters were real and complex. However, I still found myself irritated with the characters-mostly during the narrations from university. Clara is deeply insecure and privileged. There were several times I cringed at the pointless arguments she started. Benjamin is painfully shy and lacks self confidence. Both characters struggled with communication which was super frustrating at times. Due to the characters' insecurities, pointless arguments, and miscommunication trope, I found it hard to really really want these characters to end up together.
However, I still really wanted to see what happened to these characters. The beauty of this story was it was hard to put it down! Despite my feelings about the characters' relationship, I needed to know if they would be okay. The writing was very well done which helped build suspense and successfully tie in heavy topics. While this book can feel dark at times, and I wasn't super invested to the characters as a couple, I would still recommend this book. After finishing the book last night, I could not stop talking to my partner about it. This is definitely a book I will think about in the future!

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Written in changing points of view, Clara and Ben’s story told over a 20 year period had me hooked and I finished it within 24hrs. Fans of David Nicholls’ One Day and Sally Rooney’s Normal People will I think enjoy this.

Much of the story takes place during their university years in the early 2000s and I couldn’t help but feel reflective and reminiscent about my own time at University, albeit at the opposite end of the country.

Charlotte Rixon has a very gentle touch to her writing and the story just flows off the page. The book does deal with some dark issues, a bombing and sexual assault to name two, as such it might not sit in everyone’s comfort zone. But ultimately this is a tale of love and loss, how do we live our lives when we believe someone is missing from it.

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I received an ARC copy from Netgalley and Aria Aries in exchange for this review. Thank you!

The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon captured me from page one and had me biting my nails until the end! Full of love, heartbreak, courage, and self-discovery, the book had me completely addicted and beyond anxious to find out what happened next. It is told from the perspective of Clara and Benjamin and tells the series of events over a few different timelines. Benjamin and Clara meet by chance while at university and quickly begin a passionate, though tumultuous, relationship. Just before graduation, tragedy strikes, sending Clara and Benjamin careening onto two different paths. Twenty years later they are practically strangers, but another devastating event unexpectedly draws them back together. With their personal flaws and difficult history, they have much to overcome if they wish to regain some sort of relationship.

This novel is not for the faint of heart. It contains some darker content that could be upsetting to some. That being said, I feel the author handled it beautifully. I also felt that the differing timelines were written well and the transfer from one to another was smooth and aided in the suspense. Benjamin was without a doubt my favorite character of the story. His growth and development was remarkable and I was rooting for him constantly. I was a bit less fond of Clara at first. She came across very clingy and selfish. Even years after she and Benjamin were driven apart, she was so focused on herself and her past she neglected those around her. I began to wonder if she was ever going to grow up. But honestly, I can't help but wonder if perhaps her inability to grow and mature was hindered by the fact that she never got the closure she needed and I think she got there in the end. The relatively unhealthy relationship between Clara and Benjamin led them to their present day situations, and I loved the theme that our pasts can greatly influence our present if we let them. While I generally prefer books with a bit of humor along with the romance, I still enjoyed this book. I love books that keep you pondering, even when you've finished reading them, and this one definitely did that for me. I would absolutely recommend it.

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This was more emotional than I expected it to be. I liked reading this though. Clara was not a very likable character in my opinion. The story was relatable and I think it’s important to talk about heavy topics. I thought this was very well written and overall enjoyed this book!

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for this arc!

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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Aria and Aries for an advanced read in exchange for this review.

This book is about the story of Benjamin and Clara. They fell in love at University, were somehow torn apart, and now a big event many years later has Clara looking for Benjamin.

I am surprised by the other reviews of this book. I loved it! It's told in alternating views of Benjamin and Clara over the years of their relationship. It's not perfect. They certainly are flawed in their own ways. The description says that it is not a love story, and I was so surprised by how realistic it felt. They each made their own mistakes together and separately. That's real life. There's no perfect love story in real life, so I appreciated how honest and real this story was. The book starts with a bang (literally) and then Clara is set on finding Benjamin as we learn about how they were each other's first loves.

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I LOVED this book so much! It was witty, romantic, and captivating and it kept me hooked the entire time!

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Overall the book was nice. It is a book to read only in the right mental state. Deals with heavy topics and trigger warnings should be reviewed.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC. All opinions expressed are my own

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I really enjoyed this book and don’t understand why there are so many negative reviews, it’s not a light and fluffy read, but real life isn’t like Bridget Jones. My main bugbear is that Newcastle football ground is called St James’ Park (it’s my home town so get it right please!)

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Charlotte Rixon's The One That Got Away is a beautiful narrative between Benjamin and Clara. With every passing page, Charlotte's narrative style grows on you, her well-chosen words driving an intriguing and complex plot. A big win for me is how realistic and flawed both characters are. They come from different sides of their tracks, and each has trauma that they need to reconcile. Having a soft corner for History, I loved the timeline under every chapter, a gentle nudge to the reader to keep track of past and present events. Benjamin is such a lovable yet complex character, for his silence is endearing and deceptive. Clara is a perfectionist, hungry for more from life and can make words painful in a confrontation, indicating that she needs to heal from her past. I appreciate how this book challenges acceptable notions of team initiations and drug and alcohol usage and encourages readers to reflect upon this. The ending was a blanket of hope, and one thing I would have liked it if the final realisation was spread across the book, given that this book is a 20-year timeline between the protagonists. My heart was heavy and yet complete with this read. Five stars all the way, and I recommend this one!

A thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for giving me an ARC. This honest review is left voluntarily.

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I devoured this book! This story follows Clara and Benjamin for over 20 years, and the way the story flits between timelines leaves you hooked and wanting more.

There are a lot of serious topics covered in this book, and it goes to show how every small action has a reaction.

Through all the suspense, twists and turns, you could help but go feel all the emotions the characters were feeling too.

A fantastic read and one that will stick with me long after I’ve finished reading.

Thank you NetGalley and Aria&Aries for the ARC.

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I went into this book with no information and it turned out that, although it is not my usual genre (Women’s fiction), I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Two powerful messages explored through this book were the importance of your first love and that people can enjoy life despite how messy it is, and maybe even because of it. I would have appreciated a little more connection between the timelines (the book straddled the main characters’ lives as teenagers and many years later) but other than that I have no criticisms for this book. I recommend this book to anyone looking for realistic fiction and who loves the idea of examining life through reading. I look forward to reading other books by this author in the future.

Thank you to Aria and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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A must read book! This is the first book I've read by Charlotte Rixon and I just simply fell in love with the writing style.
The One That Got Away was a fabulous book with incredibly smart and witty writing.
Characterization was excellent.
Brilliant in every way; making me laugh and cry while filling me with nostalgia and longing.

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Aria & Aries,
Thank you for your generosity and gifting a copy of this approved eARC!

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This book has some major trigger warnings so definitely research before reading! However, this was a great story of lost love. The dual timeline was a bit confusing at times but came together in the end. This is not a light romance, but I would definitely recommend.

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The two main characters Clara and Ben were college lovers until a devastating event just before graduation tears them apart. Twenty years later, another event draws these two dysfunctional characters back together again.

Be aware that some sensitive issues are covered -addiction, a terrorist attack and sexual assault to name just a few.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for the opportunity to read this emotional ARC.

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3.75 ⭐️

This is not your typical second chance romance type of book, it's heavy and full of hard topics (cheating, child sexual assault, abuse/assault, alcoholism, death of a parent, suicide/bombing) So if you're looking for a light second chance romance this is not it. However, I enjoyed the book, it's a duel POV that alternates between the present day and the past. The relationship first starts while they are in college and covers the twenty years that follow. I enjoyed the English slang, and for the most part, enjoyed the story. I think if it wasn't for the need to know what actually happened with the bomb and why Ben & Cara broke up I wouldn't have finished but I just really needed to know.

It's a decent book and I would recommend you at least give it a shot,

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Great book, very enjoyable thorough out. I have to admit, Clara got on my nerves several times in this book, but it was her young jealous herself. It was fitting for her character but didn't stop me feeling like she needed a good shake. I think characters were written brilliantly and very realistic. Highly recommend

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book after reading so many mixed reviews for it. However, I really enjoyed it. I loved the characters, the plot and how engaging I found it.
Charlotte Duckworth is one of my favourite authors so it makes sense that Charlotte Rixon is her pen name for this book.
I’d really recommend this book and would urge you not to be put off by some of the negative ones you read.

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📚 The One That Got Away
✍ Charlotte Rixon
📖 Contemporary Romance
⭐ 4.5/5
Release Date: Feb. 2nd 2023

Thank you to @netgalley and @ariafiction for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Normal People meets Love and Other Words in this fabulous contemporary romance set in England. Told in alternating POVs and timelines between 2000 and 2022, the story of Benjamin and Clara's relationship is raw, passionate and heartbreaking and I can't wait for readers to get their hands on it in early 2023.

Clara and Benjamin come from very different worlds. She, from a posh family in London where she often feels ignored by parents consumed with appearances and him, from a small town in northern England where his mother is battling a terrible illness and his father is struggling to make ends meet. Despite the polarity of their upbringings, they both feel an immeasurable spark immediately after meeting in a bar while at college. For the next two years, they are inseparable- experiencing the highest of highs and lowest of lows together until one tragic night severs their ties.

Twenty years later, they've built separate lives, careers and families but haver never stopped thinking about the one that got away. When one harrowing event leads their paths to cross once again, will they re-unite or will it be too late?

What I liked: The writing in this book was so beautiful. The dual POVs and alternating timelines kept me up all night reading because I needed to know what the other character was experiencing after getting half of the story. I genuinely cared about who Clara and Benjamin became and what happened after their paths diverged. Bookended by tragedy, the way the story builds to both the events of 2002 and 2022 left me emotionally damaged- but in the best way.

What I didn't: For as well as the characters were developed in this book, I wanted closure and the epilogue didn't leave me feeling satiated. But, it felt real and true Clara and Benjamin- flawed people with immense regrets who have taken their time to move past and to the moments that have shaped them as a couple.

Read if you love:
*opposites attract
*lovers to strangers, reconnected
*deeply flawed characters trying to get better

See also: Normal People (very Sally Rooney-esque); Love and Other Words; Truly, Madly, Amy

#netgalley #netgalleyarc #theonethatgotaway #charlotterixon #contemporary romance #romancereads #bookstagram #bookreviews #booktok #bookstagrammer

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Wow! What an amazing book!!
Would love to read more from the author.
Thankyou netgalley for the Arc!

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A beautiful, poignant, heartbreaking love story that leaves you feeling hopeful instead of wondering “what if.” At times this was lovely and at times it was truly difficult to read but it was gut wrenchingly honest.

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My first by this author and finished it over two nights. I have not read a book like this in a while,

Of the two central characters, I warmed to Benjamin. The story has a few triggers which some may be uncomfortable with. The story moves back and forth which at first was a little tricky but I soon came to grips with it.

I enjoyed the storyline and I liked how the ending panned out.

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I received an ARC through NetGalley of this book and I really loved it. I’m not sure I’ve read a book like this before, where it’s both a romance and a tragedy that ends with hope but not a truly happy ending. It felt more real than most books I’ve read and I really enjoyed the style and time jumping. I really don’t have anything negative to say about it, I kept wanting more and had a hard time putting it down. I wish I could see in the future of these characters to see what would come next.

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I enjoyed this book very much. Second chance romances are always one of my favorites. I liked the dual POV’s, the suspense of wondering if the 2 main characters would end up together, and the writing. This was the first time I’ve read a book by this author. I found it to be entertaining although there are some heavy topics in the book. This didn’t feel like a romcom to me, it was more women’s fiction. I definitely recommend this to other readers.

Thank you for the ARC!

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Thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy for an honest review.

This wasa a cute book, a story about how the life happens and you even didn't notice.
For me, it was like realize that I have to act if I want something because there will be a day and I would look back and I can regret what I did or let happen.

The characters that the author describe can be your friend, a family member or even yourself. You can identify with her or with him.

Sometimes I felt that I was going too fast because of how things went by, but maybe the writer wanted us to feel how quickly time passes.

I recommend this book, you can read it in a day.

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The one that got away by Charlotte Rixon. Thank you Netgalley and Head of Zeus for allowing me to prerelease read this book. What a rollercoster story with so many emotional trigger life changing episodes: anxiety from nearly loosing a sibling/ being forgotten by parents so absorbed by the sick child. Love at first sight. Fate meeting. Self doubt in relationships. Peir pressure to fit in. Lack of communication leading to misunderstandings. Obsessions. Class. Drinking culture and what it can lead to. What love is. What love is not. Abuse. The law. Family in all its forms.
A simple life with people I love. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. Isn't that we all ever want?
A good recommended read, be prepared to be frustrated with the skipping back and forth and being annoyed with the characters, it all will be worth it in the end👍

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I received an ARC from Negalley in exchange for my honest review.

I rate this book a 3.5 out of 5. Don't get me wrong I overall enjoyed the book but I felt it had to many jumps around time from past and present moments. Also the changing of 1st person to 3rd person made for some confusing moments for me. It started off very slow rolling but it picks up and the story comes together nicely. I just had higher expectations for it because the synopsis seemed like an amazing story. I would recommend this to anyone that feels they're first love got away.

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This book goes through many cycles of the strength and weakness of Clara and Benjamin. Yes, their young love was passionate and ferocious but it was also their first true love of which many, myself included, feel the same type of way. Once they left university and were befell by tragedy, what was hard is how each retreated into themselves. Clara was constantly affiliated with the word shy which was a departure from her younger self. Benjamin felt he never amounted to anything where his sons character was attributable to him raising Aiden. It was only at the end where they both realized they needed to live again. As stated, the world is yours for the taking.

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Boy meets girl, they fall in love.. the end?

Not in this book. This is a dual POV story, which is something I have always been fond of, and Rixon made both characters feel extremely raw and gripping.

The book follows 2 main characters, Benjamin and Clara. Personally, I was not a fan of Clara’s character, she felt possessive and somewhat irritating, yet there were aspects of her story that made me want to like her. Benjamin on the other hand is a seemingly simple character, until you delve into his story and see there is much more to him than what’s in the surface.

Whilst this is a boy meets girl book, it’s far more than that, covering some really heavy topics albeit in a way that’s easy to swallow as a reader. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I certainly want to read some of charlottes other suspense books now, I may be hooked.

*Thanks to Aria & Aries / Net Galley for this ARC*

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This book is a little gem! Such a great story and i devoured this is no time. Highly recommend. Run out and read this book.

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Poignant and real, this is a story you’ll carry with you for long after you finish!
The One That Got Away will resonate with anyone who remembers the rush of first love and the heartbreak that follows. I couldn’t put it down. Packed full of depth, character and realism.

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Loved this book from the very first chapter. The way it goes back and forth, explaining the story made this book hard to put down.

I loved Clara straight away, .her personality jumps from the page and you want to help her, guide her and most importantly, be her friend. And Benjamin, you want to hug him and help him to be himself. His troubled mind, her bubbly persona make them the perfect couple and for them to struggle to find their way together, makes the book even more enjoyable in a strange way

The major twist to the story, the thing that breaks them but ultimately makes them, was brilliantly written. I really liked this book right til the very last word

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I loved The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon. Clara just jumped off the page with her grace and vibrance and Benjamin seemed like a teddy bear of a guy who needed someone to bring him out of his shell. Clara did that and they planned a future together after university but circumstances didn't allow that to happen. Twenty years later, after a bombing, Clara sees him on TV and goes looking for him, changing both of their lives.

Thank you to the author, Aria & Aries, and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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This was so much darker than I expected it to be, even knowing from the description that it involved some heavy stuff. But it also dragged me into their world in a way that was unexpectedly thorough, and definitely made it different than just a love story.

When Benjamin and Clara first meet, they both feel it. They are meant for each other, meant to be together - even if the start of their relationship is awkward, even if they fight and behave irrationally and lose themselves in each other.

But fate has different plans for them, and after a traumatic and life-altering incident at the end of their time at university, the two are torn apart.

Two decades later, Clara is at work when she hears of a bombing at a football game in the town where they fell in love. Dropping everything, Clara gets on a train and lets the magnet draw her back in.

Alternating between Clara’s journey to return to Benjamin, and the history of how they came to be, this story is about love - but not in any of the ways you may think.

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"a simple life with people i love" that's what Benjamin wants. It feels as if that is what he has with his first love Clara. Meeting whilst at university. The roller-coaster of heightened first love. Underlying current of family situations. Then it all changes.
Neither of them can forget about the other and keep checking on them via social media twenty years later. Can they reconnect? Should they try to reconnect?

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The story of Clara and Benjamin is romantics, tragic, and beautiful. You can’t help but feel the emotions of the characters so deeply and growing up in young love. Life threw battles they had to overcome to get to a steady place. I do think there should be a TW for sexual assault at the beginning of the book for future readers

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