The Pieces of You and Me by Rachel Burton #BookReview #PublicationDayPush

They say time can heal all wounds…
When Jess and Rupert parted ways, it was the end of a great love story that might have been. Now ten years later, the very different paths they have taken in life will bring them back together for a chance meeting.
But with so much left unsaid about the break up neither ever recovered from and with each keeping their own devastating secrets, will they finally be able to make the fractured pieces of their love for one another whole again?

I really enjoyed Rachel Burton's last book, The Things We Need To Say so was delighted to be invited to review The Pieces of Me and You as part of its audio book Publication Day Push today. Many thanks to the author and to Rachel Gilbey from Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me and for my advance digital copy of the novel.

When Jess bumps onto her ex, Rupert at her best friend's hen party, it's immediately obvious that there is unfinished business between the couple. It's also very clear that their feelings for one another never really went away. With most of their family and friends keen to see the pair reunited, this looks like a second chance for love. They both still need to face up to the events which led to them breaking up in the first place and be honest with themselves and each other about how the intervening ten years has changed them.
The story is told from both their viewpoints - in the case of Jess, either from her first person perspective in the present day or through a journal she wrote years ago which recalls their childhood friendship which eventually evolved into first love until their emotional split at the airport when Rupert left for Harvard without her. Rupert's point of view is also set in the present but through a third-person narrative and between the three different ways of following their story, I was able to gain a clear insight into their relationship and to be in the position of understanding the reasons behind their relationship stalling before they did.
I suspect this will mean that those desperately hoping for the happy ever after will find the behaviour of Jess and Rupert frustrating at times. It's true that they are both guilty of withholding secrets which leads to suspicion and jealousy but I could see they they are scared of revealing their flaws in case it drives the other away, even if their fear of being hurt risked jeopardising their second chance at love. While there were moments when I wished they were ready to express their doubts, I could easily empathise with their reticence at sharing their secrets.
Some of the most moving parts of the story, for me were Jess' attempts to come to terms with her M.E. diagnosis. Although she was diagnosed years ago and for the most part has learned how to manage her condition, meeting Rupert again reveals that she hasn't fully reconciled herself emotionally with her new normal. Rachel Burton's own experience as a M.E. sufferer means she can write about this still little understood illness with honesty and clarity. One of the things I really loved about Jess is that she refuses to let her health issues define her and has developed ways of coping which have allowed her to achieve professional success. I couldn't help but hope that she'd eventually find the courage to open up to Rupert but I understood her concerns; unfortunately not everybody is able to cope with the chronic illness diagnosis of a loved one and it's not surprising that she was frightened of his response. 
Meanwhile, it transpires that Rupert hasn't had the easiest time of it either and still needs to confront his own issues. He also fears what Jess will say if he shares his secret with her but with the pair both too afraid to truly open up, a sense of mistrust and doubt begins to tarnish their fragile reconciliation. They also need to discuss what caused their relationship to fall apart ten years ago; as a reader, with the benefit of omnipotence, there are moments when it is baffling to see how the couple allow things to go unsaid rather than have a difficult conversation. Life can be like that however, and at our most emotionally charged times, it's not always easier to have the courage or the foresight to truly express ourselves. 
The Pieces of You and Me is an touching and honest character-driven novel which is an engaging and realistic look at second chance love. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to anybody who enjoys romantic novels which explore the realities of  having to work at love amidst the baggage which we inevitably all amass as we progress through life.

The Pieces of You and Me is published by HQ Digital and can be purchased from the following:
 Amazon UK
Amazon US

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About the Author

Rachel Burton is the author of the international ebook bestseller The Many Colours of Us. 

Rachel spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her fiance and their three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or follow her blog at She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday....
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