Why a booktrail?
A faded photograph starts a search for the love lost across the years
Story in a nutshell
Rosamund Bailey is ready to change the world. She is young, wants to fight for what she believes in and meets her match in Dominic Blake. He is an explorer and also wants to break down boundaries and to leave his mark on the world. When tragedy strikes however, a faded photo of their last kiss is all that remains
Deep in the vaults of a museum, A faded photo of a lingering kiss is found by archivist Abby Morgan. Fascinated by this one moment frozen in time, she sets out to find out who this couple were and what happened all those years ago.
Place and setting
A story set in Paris, London, and deep in the heart of the Amazon jungle, time and places separated by years and decades of a lost love. Lost in every sense of the world.
The story of the photograph first comes to light in the vaults of the Royal Cartography Institute where it is featured in an exhibition and christened ‘The Last Kiss Goodbye’.
This is the London where Dominic and Rosamund start their love affair. From Waterloo Bridge, to the parties of Eaton Square, their London is one of a whirlwind love affair
The world is changing, women are fighting for their rights and for what they deserve, sexual liberation is being mixed up faster than the cocktails in the swinging jazz clubs.
“Back in the sixties, most of the Russian newspapers were state controlled”
These were dangerous times for the world is changing on the international stage too. The Cold War is in full swing and the murky world of espionage and diplomatic manoeuvres is a a world that is not as far away as young, free couples might imagine. Abby’s research soon takes her into the dark world of the KGB and Soviet spies for Dominic was an influential man who hob-nobed in his job as editor of Capital magazine. This world however is one which evokes the secrecy, uncertainty and duality of the times.
“The Russians wanted us to believe that there were traitors in every sector of our ruling elite. They wanted to destabilise us”
The sixties were just as swinging in Paris as they were elsewhere. Rosamund and Dominic spend time here with each other enjoying each other as well as the city’s literary heritage with visits to Les Deux Magots where Sartre and his contemporaries would sit and talk. The world here is an exciting one on the edge of something big. Times are a changing and the memories created here are some that Rosamund will savour for years to come.
However three such disparate and seemingly unconnected locations link up a story that twists and turns with one photo at its centre. Dominic, lost on an expedition to the far flung Amazon jungle with its humidity, the pitiless sun coupled with the biblical downpours.
Lost and never found, his whereabouts a ghostly imprint. Abby, assisted by Rosamund search for what went so terribly wrong all those years and miles away.
What a story! From one photo I was transported not just via locations but through many different emotions as I followed Dominic’s and Rosamund’s story with anticipation. Going back to the 1960s with a story of love and subterfuge was an exciting literary journey and the contrast of the troubled times with the Cold war in the background was a fascinating insight into the period.
I loved Dominic’s and Rosamund’s story, the challenges they faced, the struggles they had to endure and the cloud of suspicion that has hung over both of them ever since. What did happen to Dominic in that jungle? I was dying to find out. Having Rosamund help Abby in the present day was a great way to discover things together with the characters.
The love story is at the centre of course but what a twisting and turning story of hope, secrets and a changing world. So many contrasts which fitted so well together. And it all started with one frozen moment captured on film. A shocking secret buried in time is revealed and the journey to find it is one of the most fascinating I’ve been on in a long while.