In her grand home in Charleston, Willa Bellemore raised two girls during the tumultuous 1970s. One was her daughter, Lady. The other was Lady’s best friend, Nell—adopted after the sudden, heartbreaking death of her mother, the Bellemores’ beloved maid. Willa showered Nell with love and support, all the while ignoring the disdainful whispers of her neighbors. After all, they were family.
Nell and Lady were sisters at heart—sisters who vowed to never let anything come between them. Then, on the night of Lady’s sixteenth birthday, something went terribly wrong, sparking painful secrets and bitter resentments that went unspoken for three decades.
Now Willa is dying, and Lady and Nell—each with a teenager of her own—are brought together after all these years. It’s Willa’s last wish. The time has come to confront what happened on that fateful night. But it may take a tragic twist of fate to reconcile the past and come to terms with the true meaning of family.
There was something about the synopsis for Nell and Lady by Ashley Farley that drew me in from the beginning. As soon as I found out this book, I knew I had to read. I was ecstatic when I found out it was free in Kindle Unlimited! I'm really glad I read this book. It was really good.
I found the pacing for Nell and Lady to be perfect. It wasn't super fast where I was left wondering what happened, and it wasn't so slow that it felt like a chore reading this book. I would describe the pacing as being a relaxed pace.
I enjoyed the plot for Nell and Lady. The book synopsis does a great job of describing what the story is about, so I won't rehash the plot. There were no plot twists, but this isn't a book that requires a plot twist to be good. It was nice to read a book that was just straight forward when it came to the plot. It was interesting to read about what happened to Nell on the night of Lady's sixteenth birthday party (although I was expecting something a lot worse than what actually happened to her). It was also interesting to see how the family would overcome what happened to Nell and the falling out between them. It was also nice to read about things from Booker's and Regan's (Nell's son and Lady's daughter) point of view about what was going on with their mothers. It was a nice touch making Booker and Regan best friends in the book too. All of my questions were answered in Nell and Lady, and any loose ends were tied up by the ending of the book.
I loved the world building in Nell and Lady. Ashley Farley did a great job making everything feel believable whether it took place in present day or back when Nell and Lady were children/teenagers. I felt like I was in whatever era the book was taking place in. In fact, I felt like I was a silent witness to everything that was going on.
Every character in Nell and Lady was written very well. My favorite characters were Booker, Regan, and Willa. It was great to read about the friendly competition between Booker and Regan and how great of friends they were. Booker and Regan both had a great head on their shoulders. I loved how much Willa cared so much for her family and how she'd do anything for them. I did like Nell, but I didn't like the way she became racist after one incident when she was 16. However, readers will see her finally snap out of her views. Lady was written well, but I found her to be very spoiled and just plain rude. I could understand that she was hurt by how Nell had walked out of hers and Willa's life when she was a teen, but I felt like there was no excuse with how she acted when Nell wanted to visit Willa once she found out she was dying. I found myself annoyed with Lady most of the time, but not because she was poorly written. Lady was written very well, and I realize there are real life Ladys in the world.
Trigger warnings for Nell and Lady include sexual assault, mild racism, underage drinking and prescription pill abuse, mild violence, and one minor swear word.
Overall, Nell and Lady is an excellent read. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole story. It's got a great plot and a great cast of characters. I would definitely recommend Nell and Lady by Ashley Farley to everyone aged 16+. You will fall in love with this book.