Having recently read [b:The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox|250729|The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox|Maggie O'Farrell|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348843114s/250729.jpg|3050927] and loved it, I was eager to read another book by [a:Maggie O'Farrell|91236|Maggie O'Farrell|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1208204636p2/91236.jpg] and the blurb of The hand that first held mine had me intrigued.
Fresh out of university and in disgrace, Lexie Sinclair is waiting for life to begin when the sophisticated Innes Kent turns up on her doorstep in rural Devon. In the present Ted and Elina no longer recognise their lives after the arrival of their first child. Elina an artist wonders if she will ever paint again while Ted is disturbed by memories of his own childhood - memories that don’t tally with his parents version of events.
Maggie Farrell is a wonderful, descriptive writer, who really draws you into her stories with her beautiful imaginative writing.
This story has a very haunting quality that comes from O’Farrell’s writing. It gives the book the atmosphere of a mystery, even though that isn't necessarily the main focus of the plot. Her prose is beautiful and imaginative.
The novel is set in post-war 50/60s (not my favourite time to read about)London and also set in the present day. I did not find myself drawn into this time frame as I just could not get a sense of London in the 50s from the book although the descriptions are well written.
I found the first 100 pages were a struggle as very little seemed to happen and it was not until halfway through the book that I started to enjoy the novel.
although I had mixed feelings about this book I am a fan of Maggie O Farrell and look forward to reading more of her novels as I really think she has a unique style.