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The Anniversary

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  568 ratings  ·  70 reviews
From the bestselling author of Thursdays in the Park comes an emotional and beautifully written story of love, loss, and finding love again.

'One of the best family and friendship sagas - an emotional read' Prima

What if the one you tried to forget is the one you can't live without?

Stella once thought that if she never saw Jack again, it would be too soon.

But life has o
Paperback, 416 pages
Published September 20th 2018 by Penguin
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  568 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hilary Boyd writes an emotionally charged family drama of love, loss and grief that revolves around Jack and Stella, once love's young dream, living through years that cemented them as a couple, only for a harrowing tragedy, the unexpectedly devastating death of their young son, to splinter them apart. Their marriage was collateral damage as they divorced, although neither is left untouched by the repercussions, with Stella trying to emotionally protect herself from the fallout by distancing her ...more
Louise Wilson
Stella once thought that if she never saw Jack again, it would be too soon. But life has other plans for her and her stubborn ex-husband. Looking after their daughter in a time of need, Stella finds herself unwillingly reunited with the man she shared the best years of her life with - followed by the worst.

Young and in love, Stella and Jack seemed the perfect couple. They had a young son and another baby on the way when tragedy struck. Fast forward thirty odd years and Stella and Jack have split
Adele Shea
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, I just loved this book. Right from the start you just wish for a happy ending and it sets you on a roller-coaster of emotions.

Jack and Stella, so happily married, decide to add to their family, having a little boy Jonny already. Disaster strikes one sunny afternoon when attending a garden party, resulting in Jonny dying in a freak accident, leaving pregnant Stella and Jack, broken beyond repair.

Decades later, when their daughter Eve is pregnant with her second child, Jack and S
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it

Stella and Jack used to be the perfect couple - happy and totally in love. Until one day, when the tragedy happened. After that, their marriage has slowly started to fall to pieces to eventually end in divorce.
Fast forward many years and they both live their own lives with new partners and even though they have a daughter, they don't often meet. However, it's going to change - Eve is pregnant and needs their help. As there are many unfinished business between them, are they going to rekindle th
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley, 2018
When Stella has to go and look after her daughter who is having a troubled second pregnancy, she comes back into contact with her ex husband.
A great book about fractured family dynamics following a tragedy in their early married days. I loved reading it and seeing how they coped with meeting up again.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Here is something I often wonder about. A relationship fails, people move on and live their separate lives, and then one day, sometimes even decades later, they find each other again and decide to give things another go. Why? Do people change that much? What happened to the thing that made them split up in the first place? Is it no longer an issue?

Meet Jack and Stella. Once happily married, they have now been divorced for over two decades. Jack has remarried, Stella has a longtime partner and th
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Stella and Jack were the perfect couple young and in love with the world at their feet. Their marriage was blessed with a young son and they were looking forward to a new addition when tragedy struck.

Fast forward and now Stella and Jack are divorced. They are now both with new partners but have to meet up again to help their daughter who is expecting her second child!

The love and feelings they once shared suddenly appear again and this takes them both by surprise. Should they give into temptati
Jeannie Zelos
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Anniversary,  Hilary Boyd

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre: General Fiction (adult), Woman's Fiction.

Gah, Woman's Fiction – I hate when we dismiss a whole sector of readers. Why do that? Why shouldn't men read this? Ah well, rant over.

I've enjoyed a few of Hilary's stories now. They're for readers who want to think about a book, want some depth, want to really get to understand the characters. Sometimes I want a fluff relaxing read, others I want one like this, that makes me real
Michelle Ryles
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
I can't even begin to describe the level of emotion in this book, it's almost as if it's woven into the very fabric of the pages. Although it is ultimately a love story, there are so many trials and tribulations to contend with which cause heartache and pain for the beautiful characters in the book.

I loved the character of Stella; she seems so strong and brave but underneath she is quite fragile and insecure. You can't help but warm to her after what she has gone through in her life; a life that
Zoé-lee O'farrell
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am writing this with the tears still fresh on my face as this book has just completely moved me. It is safe to say that when Hilary’s next book comes out in 2019 I will be the first person to want to read it and I need to catch up with her back catalogue! I flew through this book today, I read a couple hundred pages without even realising it, I couldn’t put this down. An insight into this family, the “drama” unfolding, watching and waiting for the light to come to us.

With this book, I got the
Sara Oxton
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Anniversary by Hilary Boyd a four-star read that you will want to celebrate. I picked this book up and put it down a bunch of times before I finally bit the bullet and read it, and I am glad I finished it. This was a tragic read and the characters really do push you to your limits, but they are well written and people you can relate to. It really does show that even after loss you can find happiness.
Joanne Robertson
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was a big lover of Thursday in the Park by Hilary Boyd and was really looking forward to The Anniversary. I adore fiction featuring more mature female protagonists and I thankfully I wasn’t disappointed by this wonderfully written, emotional storyline. I have to admit that if I had known more about the some of the content, I might not have picked it up but I’m so glad that I did!

The lives of Stella, Jack and their daughter Eve are connected through their relationships with each other but it is
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Anniversary is one of those books that you think you will know the answer before the question is even posed. Looking at the cover it just simply emanates sadness, anger, and no way forward.

It is beautifully written with enough emotion to pull at your heartstrings or rouse doubt and misunderstandings. Based around a mature couple who have been dealt the worst blow any parent should ever have to face, they simply are unable to cement the relationship and both move on with different partners an
Mrs A
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stella and Jack were young and in love. They married and had a son and another baby on the way. Then tragedy stuck and their lives were never the same again.
Years later and both with new partners they meet again when their daughter needs them. What will happen? Is it to late to love again? Can they put the past to rest and look forward to the future?
Rubina Gomes
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having lost a loved one recent, I could totally feel what Stella and Jack had to go through.
The Anniversary is a beautifully written story of love, loss and finding love again. I could relate to each character and as I read the book I hoped that they find the strength to rekindle the lost love and relationships. I was so drawn into their story that I was finding it difficult to come out. Also I loved the happy end. The only place I found this book a miss was that it could have ended long before
Big Bertha
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Stella and Jack were the perfect couple until tragedy got in the way.
From the opening pages I was drawn into this thought provoking novel. Beautifully written characters and easy to read, its a poignant and moving story about relationships and how tragic events affect not just those involved but others around them.

Not all heartache and tragedy it was well balanced, with moments that lightened the load.
Overall a good thought provoking read but no real surprises at the end
Kerri Selby
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed Hilary Boyd's books ever since I read Thursdays in the Park some years ago so I was delighted to have the chance to read this book ahead of its release later this month.

The book begins with a very romantic scene between Jack and Stella, who are clearly a young couple very much in love and who seem just perfect for each other. Fast forward thirty odd years and we find that Jack and Stella have split up. Both have new partners: Jack is married to the much younger Lisa while Stella h
Nicki Southwell
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-reviews
Life for Stella and Jack was wonderful.back in 1985. They had a wonderful marriage which bought them joy and happiness, especially when Jonny and Eve came along.

Eve is married to scientist Eric and is expecting their second child. Stella goes to stay with Eve during the last trimester and help out with energetic Arthur. She is having problems with pregnancy and needs to take is easy. Eric is in the Antarctic on a field trip that is lasting months, and Eve doesn't want him to know that there are
Grace J Reviewerlady
This is a first-rate telling of the survival of the individual members of a family who suffered an unthinkable tragedy and then did the only thing they could do - move on.

Jack and Stella shared a wonderful love, but three decades later they have as little contact as possible with each other. However, when their daughter needs help, it's only a matter of time until they come face to face again. As we follow all three members of the Holt family's current lives, we also gradually find out what happ
Teresa Nikolic
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Stella and Jack had everything, a young son and another baby on the way and they were very much in love, everything was perfect then tragedy struck and their lives would never be the same again.  With neither of them able to get over the sad events of that fateful day, they drift apart and their marriage breaks down, but they are suddenly brought back together years later when their daughter Eve needs their help during a difficult pregnancy.  Can they be friends again or will their lost love for ...more
Pat Simpson
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a complete change from my normal read of crime mysteries and psychological thrillers, and I loved it. It was one of those books that had you reaching for your tissues on a few occasions and was a very emotional read.
The story is about the relationship between Jack and Stella. They were married young and then divorced after a family tragedy. Jack remarries a much younger, glamorous wife and Stella is in a relationship too, but they both still have hidden feelings for each other. The
Jayne Burnett
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Net Galley and Penguin UK for an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.
In my mind this is Hilary Boyds best book to date.
A very touching and emotional story, Stella and Jack have been divorced for years, disaster struck one afternoon when their first child Jonny drowns in a pool while they are at a garden party, Stella was pregnant with their daughter Eve, they were both broken.
Now many years later their daughter Eve is expecting her 2nd child, Stella and Jack find themselves th
Jane Hunt
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Stella and Jack are soulmates, or so they believe, but when they suffer a terrible loss, it changes them and their relationship. Grief and mourning are unique to the sufferer, and if two people are raw with the pain of loss together, they fall together or fall apart. Stella and Jack fell apart and have gone their separate ways until their daughter needs them both and they have another chance to talk and maybe find out if their love is worth saving.

Realistic and poignant this a gentle story of li
Susan Foulkes
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an emotional read dealing with the after effects of a parent's worst nightmare.

Jack and Stella were soul mates ripped apart by tragedy, the death of their young son.

25 years later they are divorced, both have new partners, and they are forced to be in each other's company when their daughter is going through a difficult pregnancy.

This forced proximity brings home to them that they still love each other, and that neither of them has dealt with, or moved on from, the debilitating grief fe
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book exceeded all of my expectations. It was easy to read, and I just fell in love with the characters instantaneously.

The novel is a sensitive read. It touched your heart on a personal level and it simply makes you feel. It discusses the sensitive issues of grief, love, relationships and second chances - and the author does it incredibly well, I simply could not get enough of it.

This book is a rather different read for me, but it was a book that I got easily into, and once I started read
Julie Spratt
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A poignant story about a couple who are forced apart when they lose a child. The story is about their remaining daughter, her children and Stella and jack's new partners. Stella never wanted to see Jack again but after having to go to Kent to help her pregnant daughter she discovers that Jack and his new wife come to their cottage close by for weekends. They meet up again and the story of their past and future starts. The characters are wonderful and although the story is tinged with sadness I s ...more
Lisa Roberts
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Oooh I loved this , despite the fact I had a little cry at the end. Not quite sure why , perhaps it's the menopause; I seldom cry but found the characters so beautifully crafted that I became enveloped in their world. I've read most of Hilary Boyd's novels and this was one of her best. It would seem (as I have long suspected) that relationships don't get much easier the older you get ....although I enjoyed the blossoming of the mother daughter relationship . It's a lovely book ; hea
Maddy Cordell
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
So enjoyed this book that I couldn’t put it down.

Jack and Stella were married with a beloved little boy Jonny and another child on the way, when tragedy strikes, tearing their world apart, and ripping their relationship to shreds in a blame game neither can control.

Fast forward many years and their daughter is expecting her second child, whilst her husband is away. The pregnancy is problematic and Stella and Jack have to step up to help with their Grandson, their daughter, and potential problem
Christine Rennie
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
With thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the book in exchange for an honest review.
I have read books by Hilary Boyd before and they are always an enjoyable read. They are the kind of books to read snuggled up in bed or in front of a warm fire or even on a sun lounger on holiday.They make you feel good.
In this story a husband and wife divorced for over twenty five years develop feelings for each other, the problem is the ex husband has remarried and the ex wife is in a long term relations
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Boyd was born and spent the first six months of her life in Prestatyn, North Wales, where her father, an army major, was stationed after the war. She was later educated in London, then at the boarding school Roedean. She trained as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, and subsequently as a marriage guidance counsellor with Relate before reading English Literature at London University i ...more

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48 likes · 3 comments
“two and a half,’ Jack was saying. ‘And?’ she muttered, half asleep and not really paying attention. ‘I was just thinking,’ Jack went on, his voice coming to her almost like a lullaby. ‘Maybe we should begin to think about another one.’ ‘Another one?’ Stella repeated sleepily. Then she was suddenly wide awake. ‘A child, you mean?’ She felt Jack nod, his head brushing her own, then she heard him chuckle. ‘Of course a child! We haven’t got a dog or a goldfish, thank God.’ He was silent for a moment. ‘It’d be just over a three-year gap, if you got pregnant right away, like you did with Jonny.’ Stella looked up at him, his face just visible in the glow from the streetlight filtering through the calico blinds. They had always wanted a second child. Neither she nor Jack had siblings and they both felt they’d missed out. Stella didn’t want Jonny growing up with the sort of maternal monitoring – the need to be perfect because you’re the only one – that had blighted her own childhood. ‘He’ll need someone to visit the nursing home with, when we both go dotty,’ Jack said. Which made them laugh in disbelief that they could ever be old, let alone demented.” 0 likes
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