After We Collided by Daphne du Maurier is the first part of a trilogy about two lovers, married and separated, who try to make amends for the terrible event that led to their divorce. It was written in the summer of 1932, shortly before the outbreak of the Great Depression, and the publication was timed to coincide with the release of John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men. Tessa is at first skeptical of her newly-wed husband's promise to help her; it will take some time, however, to learn whether or not he will be able to fulfill his promise.
As soon as Tessa is told by her mother that she is going to marry Hardin, she finds herself suffering from a panic attack. She knows that the marriage is only temporary and she has no control over what will happen when she dies. The marriage and divorce, however, are final; Hardin has promised to pay her mother a hefty inheritance upon the death of both of them. He promises that this money will not go directly to her, but will instead be passed on to their two children. Despite his assurance, Tessa is worried about what will happen to her once her family leaves her and the estate to her husband.
As the months go by and her son becomes accustomed to his new role as a father, Tessa is less concerned with what will happen to her; Hardin will always take care of her. However, she becomes worried about what the future may hold for her when she discovers that she and her husband have already been awarded legal rights to the estate. The news is shocking to Tessa, who believes that her parents were legally married before Hardin took over the estate. Her parents were never granted legal rights. She also knows that her father was not at all involved in his parents' divorce. But she never told her mother. When they return home, however, her mother is surprised to learn that Tessa and her husband are now legally married.
When Tessa and Hardin get back together, she has to confront her feelings about her marriage before she can decide whether or not to do anything about the divorce. In an effort to do something good for her family, Tessa decides to give up her dream of becoming a writer. a celebrated author.
When the papers come through from Hardin's attorney, Tessa is surprised to discover that her divorce was void of any fault of her own. and she has, therefore, little to worry about. Tessa is devastated to find out that Hardin was able to get the papers through his attorney, despite his apparent guilt, because he was able to convince the court that he had done nothing wrong. while his wife was supposedly cheating on him. Hardin convinces the court to let him walk away with the papers after she agrees to give up her estate to her husband.
After We Collared by Daphne Du Maurier is a novel filled with mystery, intrigue and suspense. Although it does deal mostly with the subject of divorce, it also contains much more than that. Although it is a story about love and its many different shades, the book explores more of the complexities of growing up in a Victorian home than any other book I have read before. The descriptions of the various times that Tessa and Hardin spent together in their youth are quite realistic.