“Where the Story Starts” by Imogen Clark is a story of four women and one man. Following diverse plotlines, the book untangles the knot of relationships, deceit, and lies, simultaneously drawing portraits of the characters.
Melissa meets a man of her dreams. He is handsome and funny, he treats her like no man treated her before, and on top of all that, he is a bodyguard.
Grace is rich. She has a title and a stately home. And on top of that, she is blessed with a husband who adores her and the lovely children she gets herself completely immersed into.
Leah is a single mother who raises her two children alone, but she is rather brilliant at it. Besides, her little house in a tiny coastal town belongs to her, and it places her far above all her childhood friends and neighbours who are struggling with rent, landlords, and mortgages.
Clio doesn’t have a job or a purpose in life, but the good news is she doesn’t need to desperately seek either. Her family has it all, and she doesn’t really need to go into any trouble.
And then, there is Charles. A man of many talents and virtues, but who obviously isn’t always using them in the interests of those who love him.
I’d say that the mix of things untold and certain predictability of the plot is one of the main charms of this book. Although readers guess Charles’ secret almost right away, it’s not the mystery that holds their interest. It’s the characters, their past and present, and their reactions to what life throws at them.
Set in North East England, “Where the Story Starts” explores how one person’s actions influence the lives of everyone whom he pulls into his orbit. Readers are left to decide whether the bad outweighed the good in that person’s intentions.