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Constance by Rosie Thomas is out in paperback at 10.50 euros.

Constance has made a new life for herself in a foreign land.

She is a musician, a composer, a highly paid arranger of other people’s music, and lives in a lively expatriate community in Bali.

There the world is idyllic: beautiful beaches framed with lush, green trees, charming small houses, and a relaxed, convivial lifestyle.

So when the news comes of her sister’s serious illness, the last thing she wants to do is return to London.

Her sister is much older than Constance and not a real relative, as Constance was adopted.

While she never felt completely at home with her ‘family’, nor did she ever want to find her birth mother.

None of these are the real reason she is so reluctant to go home however.

It is far more complicated than that: before leaving London, she fell in love with her sister’s husband.But Constance does go back to London.

She discovers a great deal more about her sister and family, gets to know her 18-year-old nephew and his Lithuanian girlfriend, learns about her family history and the hidden connections with her past.

Most importantly of all, she must face the dilemma of her forbidden love and in doing so discover a new identity for herself.

Rosie Thomas has a remarkable ability to write about human dilemmas and Constance is one of her most endearing characters.