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Reviewed by Carmen Tenorio for Readers' Favorite
Full Circle is the final installment of H.J. Ottewell's trilogy which began with Annie’s Life and The Bond of Love. It is a romantic saga about the life of a young woman named Annie with a starting point in World War I and its conclusion in the modern-day world. In it, we see Annie's friends Claire and Richard as empty nesters who must deal with the emancipation of their grown-up child and the health issues that faced their neighbors and lifelong friends, Marion and David. The novel also has an ongoing subplot involving the complicated relationship between their daughter Lauren and her best friend Samuel. They believe that Annie continues with her unbreakable friendship and support from beyond the grave, through dreams and the objects that she has left behind to keep her memory alive. From a sleepy English suburb to Oxford, France, and even Africa, Ottewell provides picturesque descriptions and details of the interesting places, repasts, and cuisines that served as romantic or dramatic backdrops to the events in her book.
H.J. Ottewell uses flashbacks that serve as continuity from where the previous installments left off. The book has a sanguine tone as the author uses serious issues like illness, death, and bereavement to make it realistic and relatable. She balances this with more positive precepts such as courage, friendship, fidelity, and optimism, which are values that are kept buoyed by the power of love, as the characters navigate the ups and downs of life. We also see that the older and the younger ones do share a sense of adventure, though the more mature couple tends to take it a bit slower. H.J. Ottewell nevertheless shows us that age does not limit the intensity and passion for following one's heart and dreams and even thriving on them, whether it’s a career, a business, or a relationship. Romance readers will enjoy the ebb and flow of emotions as the author brings one ecstatically joyful or tragic event after another. Hard realities are inevitable. Full Circle is written for diehard contemporary romance fans who will certainly be pleased with both the novel’s cover and its emotionally satisfying and auspicious ending.