I have read Sinead Moriarty in the past, and I knew I was settling in with a good women’s fiction read when opening The Way We Were. I closed the book knowing I had just read a great women’s fiction novel. This truly is a gripping family drama, and one that I could not put down. Everything changes for Alice when she finds out her husband Ben was killed in Africa. Not only is her world shattered, but they have two young daughters Ben also left behind. Alice tries to be a good mother while working through her grief, and struggling to pick up the pieces. But in Africa, Ben and another surgeon have been taken hostage, and spend the next two years in captivity, playing doctor to all their kidnappers. They finally escape, and are reunited with their families.
But once home, all does not simply go back to normal. Ben struggles with PTSD, and Alice tries to understand how – just when she finally started to live again – another twist is thrown her way. Their daughters are caught in the middle, and the family struggles to find the way they were – before. I cried several times while reading, and could feel my heart pounding in certain situations. We knew from the prologue and the synopsis that Ben makes it out of captivity, but there were still situations that made me question if he would really survive. Once he returned home, I felt horrible watching the family try to make sense of everything. How does one come back from the dead, and how would you react in that situation? It was challenging to read at times and I felt hopelessness several times alongside Alice, but the ending was so beautifully written, and I closed my Kindle with tears in my eyes.