"Fulfilment" by Anne Stormont is a great read. It follows the lives of Jack and Rachel, near neighbours on the Isle of Skye. Written in alternating chapters we get two sides of the same story. Jack is ex-Police, struggling with recently diagnosed PTSD and other health issues, and is a self confessed mess. Rachel is a wary divorcee. Having escaped a controlling marriage she now values her freedom above all else. But Jack and Rachel are an item and thereby hangs the tale. Though the readily profess their love for one another, Jack does not feel worthy of Rachel and Rachel is scared to commit.
And so begins an intense period for both of them. Jack is battling with bouts of depression and experiencing harrowing flashbacks so, despite having the support of some great people, he can’t get out of his head that he isn't right for Rachel and shouldn't hold her back. He feels unfulfilled and lacking direction. Rachel, on the other hand, is juggling her career as an author and illustrator with running the family croft and is about to embark on a book launch and tour. Whilst Jack has too much time on his hands, Rachel has too little, meaning they never get to talk and to discuss the important things, though they both feel the should. They always put off to some future date what would he best said in the present.
"Fulfilment" carries its storyline at a good pace that keeps the reader turning the page. There are some moments of anguish and others when you want to bang Jack and Rachel's heads together, but there are also some interesting twists and turns where there are multiple possibilities for the direction the story will take. One of the real delights of the book is Anne Stormont’s intimate knowledge of her settings. For those who know the places she is writing about and have taken the journeys she makes with Jack and Rachel, the descriptions are totally accurate and allow the reader to visualise the scenery around them. This is a book where the reader hopes for a happy ending and can invest in the characters. Does "Fulfilment" deliver? You will have to read it for yourself to find out.