The Gulf Between by Maxine Alterio. (2019).
**2.5 out of 5 stars**
A foreigner is seriously injured not far from Julia’s safe New Zealand hideaway. Why does he have her name in his wallet? His unexpected arrival takes Julia back 45 years to London, where as an impulsive young woman she first met Benito Moretti – a meeting that was to change her life, taking her to the glittering Gulf of Naples. There Julia found herself pitted against her belligerent mother-in-law and Ben’s sinister brother in a lethal battle for her husband and children. Julia remembered her father saying, ‘We’re all as sick as our secrets’. Words that still haunt her.
Unfortunately I didn’t really get into this one much. I found it quite slow and didn’t connect with any of the characters. If anything I found them all really annoying, even Julia though I did have empathy for her at times. I think I just found it really strange that Ben clearly communicated to Julia multiple times that he didn’t want to go home and she basically insisted they go there and then immediately she didn’t like it and was unhappy…I mean really, he did warn her for their entire relationship?! It was frustrating to read. While I appreciated the twist at the end and didn’t see it coming, I wasn’t a fan of it; I think readers will either love it or hate it. I did like the relationship growth between Julia and her mother-in-law that occurred very gradually. I do think that a lot of readers would like this story so it’s definitely worth a read if the synopsis interests you.