Lost in Translation – Book Review

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Overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I’d teach you, Charlotte. And I promise, I wouldn’t let you fall.”

She’s done it again!! And I think this one might just be my new favourite Audrey Davis book. Thoroughly entertaining and as hilarious as always, but this time, Audrey has taken a much different route to her previous stories. I think this worked incredibly well and was consistent with her previous style of writing which I already adore. I’m so thrilled to be sharing my review of the latest in Audrey’s collection and really hope you’ll take a look for yourself!

Charlotte Egerton and family are off to Switzerland, after husband Dom bags a big-time job promotion.

But Charlotte isn’t exactly yodelling with delight at the prospect. Not since a chance discovery cast a shadow over her ten-year marriage. And navigating twisty Swiss roads and getting to grips with French only adds to her woes…

Following a bumpy encounter with an arrogant German, Charlotte is far from convinced the expat life is for her.

With doubts about Dom — and concerns for her best friend, Ruth — plaguing her mind, will Charlotte embrace the Swiss way of life, or are some mountains just too hard to conquer?

Embark on a journey filled with laughter, tears and lessons in love. Sometimes you just have to seize the day…

The beginning

How would you feel moving countries when you didn’t even want to in the first place? That’s exactly how Charlotte Egerton felt at the start of this book and my god I felt her pain! Straight away, the way this was written really helped me to bond with Charlotte and it was so easy to become attached to her. I loved her attitude and wit, and even how clueless she was about driving in a different place. She was quite the unique character! Her outlook on life in Switzerland could do with a bit of improvement, but we were yet to learn about her reasons for not wanting to move to an unfamiliar place in the first place, or even if the big move would be worth it for her and the family in the long run. The opening to this book was once again written in true Davis style – fun, addictive and succeeded in planting those seeds to build the perfect foundations for the rest of the story. Once again, faultless!

The way the story is written is just beautiful with a very family-oriented feel. It’s clear family plays a huge part in Charlotte’s life and I had a feeling that we saw a bit of the author herself in certain parts! I love how we’re taken back in time to a life before the move – we learn so much more about Charlotte and her husband’s relationship and just how important her children are in her life. It seems Dom is always too busy and his job steals precious family time away from them, and we learn of a secret that could potentially be so harmful to their relationship. This guy is mean at times and has no compassion, and quite frankly, I didn’t know how she coped with him around! I guess love makes you do stupid things. Learning more about this family felt like I’d known them for a lifetime – would Charlotte ever speak up about her feelings, or even leave the man she’s drifting away from?

“Whatever happened, she would always put them first. Not a tiger mum, but a lioness protecting her cubs.”

As Dom continues to act strangely by rushing into decisions about their new home and life in Switzerland, leaving late at night for “work” and having phone calls with hushed tones, I was starting to get more and more unsettled by this character. Just what was he up to and why did I have such a bad feeling about it? Aside from all the uncertainty and secrecy of Dom in the book so far, I was absolutely delighted by the author’s description of Switzerland and everything it has to offer. The detail really makes you feel like you’re there yourself, taking in the sights or browsing at a delicious looking menu in a local restaurant. It just made me even more gutted about travel restrictions lately! The more I read, the more I loved how the story was unfolding, and it really was unlike anything this author has written before. I’d already read chapters upon chapters in one sitting and I couldn’t stop!

The book so far is filled with ups and downs, hope and disappointment, love and potentially loss to come. The author combines all this effortlessly in the story, making the reader hang onto every word. I loved Charlotte’s character as well as her adorable sons, but I also like Dom’s character too – not because he was a nice person, but because the author has crafted him into someone manipulative, someone who always manages to get his own way, and I think this in itself is a skill. Making a reader despise someone so much is a gift! However, there was the chance for Dom to turn all this around, and even though the author is leading her readers to think of one particular outcome, we could all be surprised… This was an absolutely show-stopping opening to the book which captured my attention fully, and I couldn’t wait to see how things unfolded!

The middle

We’re introduced to some brilliant new characters, some of who we aren’t sure about at first. Amelie in particular, the one person Charlotte seems most paranoid about, is also in Switzerland – is this woman the reason Dom suggested the move? His body language seems to tell Charlotte everything she needs to know, even though he tells her otherwise. We also meet Jurgen, the d*ckhead in the red car who’d previously forced her to crash her car. Each character is so unique, but it’s instantly clear they’ll play such an important part in the telling of the story. I’ve always loved Audrey’s characters, but this book in particular made me eager to find out more about each and every one of them. I wasn’t sure why, but I felt so drawn into the story because of them! The build up to what was to come was brilliant, and I felt like Dom was getting closer and closer to breaking point. Argh, what was he hiding from his wife?! I could slap him!

It seems it isn’t only Charlotte with her own issues in her new home town, and it was fascinating getting to know other characters better. We’re forced to question their stories, why some characters dislike others, or why one character is hiding beneath make up and wealth. There is so much to this book but it all works so well together, and I’m not quite sure how Audrey has done it! As well as such impeccable character creation, the cliff hangers at the end of most chapters made it pretty impossible to take a break from reading. How could I stop when Amelie makes a cryptic remark that could lead us closer to what Dom is hiding?! I was, quite simply, addicted to this book, even more so as Charlotte and Jurgen begin to get to know each other better. He seems to keep her a little more sane, and his whole personality and outlook on life seemed so refreshing.

“Sometimes, it is not what people say or do, but what they think they conceal that is most telling.”

My curiosity went off the scale with Dom’s recent trip away to “see his parents”. Of course, Charlotte has her doubts, but these doubts are just confirmed as she finds out he most certainly is not there. Anger seemed to bubble up within me and I loved how the author made me feel this way! I was desperate for answers from Dom, and I thought it’d be thoroughly entertaining to see how he wormed his way out of this one. My hatred of this guy was only increasing but my love for Jurgen also increased. It was about time Charlotte made some changes and I just wished I could step into the book and give her that pep talk she needed to hear! With this and Ruth, her friend, having her own issues she needs to help with, Charlotte seems to be juggling an awful lot all at once. Would she have the strength and courage to make the right changes to bring herself happiness and contentment?

As Dom reveals a few surprises and admits his whereabouts, I wasn’t sure whether I could believe him, and neither could Charlotte. I was kept guessing throughout the whole story and it seemed I’d continue to do so until that very last page! I kept stopping at regular intervals to just sit in silence and mull over what I’d just read, and thinking about what I’d do in Charlotte’s position. She’s confused about her relationship with her husband, but she’s also excited and curious about spending more time with Jurgen. Would doing so make her just as bad as Dom, even though she still isn’t sure exactly what he’s hiding? I felt like Charlotte was slowly finding herself, even if her relationship with her husband wasn’t changing for the better. I couldn’t wait to see how the author ended the story and whether she’d choose to put a stop to the constant feelings of uncertainty.

The end

After a show-stopping outing with Jurgen, (to which Dom didn’t seem to give two hoots about) Charlotte is left to ponder what it is she really wants. It was the most fun she’d had in a long time, even though that’s how she should feel with her own husband. I absolutely loved how deep and involving the book was right from the start and the consistency of this and just how impactful it was seemed so overwhelming at times. Everything was so memorable and emotional, and already, I knew it’d stick with me for a long time to come. With Alicia admitting she’d seen Dom with another woman, I could sense Charlotte’s anger and I was seething myself. Why wouldn’t he admit what he’d done and put Charlotte out of her misery?! I couldn’t bear to see this character suffer. The words from the author are so powerful here and even though I felt for Charlotte, I loved the delivery of it all.

We finally get a confession we expect, but I felt like there was so much more to this story than we’re told. The dialogue between Charlotte and Dom at this crucial point in their relationship (and the story) was phenomenal, and I really felt for Charlotte – I was getting emotional and angry on her behalf! Throughout the book, Ruth has always been the greatest friend to Charlotte, always keeping her in check and really does talk sense. She keeps her sane and gives her the advice she needs, even though she’s going through a lot herself. I’ve mentioned it before, but the creation and development of the characters in this book is some of the best I’ve seen. We get deep into their minds and find it easy to place ourselves in their shoes, and this really can’t be easy to pull off. Audrey has done this with ease and I feel so proud of her right now! I couldn’t wait to see how she pulled the story to a close.

“Dom sounded revoltingly upbeat for a man knee-deep in a swamp of secrets and lies. Not that he knew – yet – that she’d rumbled him.”

By the end of the book, Charlotte’s strength had increased so much that she seemed like a completely different person! We see her hit rock bottom and pick herself back up in a way that I’ll never forget, and I felt that the book is filled with life lessons we can take tips from. There were times when I thought Charlotte would give in, that the apologies and gifts would turn her into a forgiving, blubbering mess, but I was so glad she stuck to her guns. I felt that she’d be much stronger than she’d ever been before with a much brighter future ahead of her. In Charlotte’s words, ‘children aren’t glue’ in a marriage. All the characters in the book had their own endings in a way which I really loved, but there were two characters that I really wanted all the best for… I needed to know whether my predictions were correct or whether I’d be surprised yet again!

The ending pages of the book were beautiful and incredibly emotional, and we really see a completely different side to this author which I didn’t expect. Charlotte still feels some pain, but this time, the pain is linked to a new love, a love that was as confusing as it was refreshing. I loved how the author didn’t answer every question we had on our minds, and that I could come to my own conclusions. I’d be thrilled if we hear more about these characters in a new book in the future, but at the same time, I feel Charlotte’s story had been told, and told very well! I’d be intrigued to hear more about Ruth’s life, however! One of the most brilliant books I’ve read recently and giving it five stars doesn’t seem enough! Perfect in every single way.

Overall thoughts

My first read of the year, and this one has set the bar ridiculously high! I read this as part of my book club, A Quintillion Reads, and we’ve all been giddy discussing it because we loved it so much! Each page is written beautifully and we follow Charlotte on a whirlwind of a journey she could have never predicted. I felt so strongly for so many characters in different ways, and there is never a dull moment in this one – it moved me much more than other books have in the past and I never wanted to stop reading! As much as I’m sad about ending the book, I feel so grateful for having read such an amazing story, one that will stick with me for an awfully long time.

Huge thanks to the author, Audrey Davis, for my copy of this book, even though I bought myself a copy too! You can grab your own copy of Lost in Translation over on Amazon now, available on Kindle and in paperback. Make sure you’re following the author over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates!

Looking for book reviews?

If you’re in need of reviews for your own book, do get in touch to get on my submissions list! All the information you need is on my book reviews page.

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