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Review: oh what a gorgeous book. I haven't actually read anything by this author before, despite having a couple of her novels sitting on my shelves but I was recommended this book so many times by other bloggers and other authors that I knew I had to pick it up. I ended up listening to this on audiobook and found myself making excuses to listen at any opportunity it was so compelling and I needed to find out what was going to happen next. It was one of those novels that I really struggled to describe to someone as I was reading it, but I love something like that that doesn't conform to a particular mould or form!
First of all let me rave about Gina because she is such a special character. She has been knocked down again and again and again. She has been in an unhappy marriage, she has a difficult relationship with her mother she is struggling to buck against the stereotype that she has of a survivor and yet that is exactly what she is, a survivor. Someone who makes the very best of herself, by herself, she accepts help from others and yet does things by herself and for herself, she had decided to make herself happy, something which more of us should definitely be trying to do, be happy for ourselves by ourselves!
Her best friend, Naomi is also an amazingly strong female and is a pillar of strength for Gina even if she doesn't realise it. She is written as the kind of best friend that all of us would want to have, just a little bit more outgoing and more straight talking that your average girly girl! Gina's ex is, of course, a character we kind of love to hate, but you also feel sympathy for him and I think Gina did too. Her relationship with her mother develops over the course of the novel and there is a very interesting couple that Gina works with, developing their house and gaining more than just a couple of business clients!
The storyline jumps back and forth between present day and flashbacks to Gina's past but it is so well-written that you never feel confused as to what era you are in. The writing is truly beautiful, full of wonderful descriptive phrases and by the end of the book, i felt as if the house she was developing was actually mine! There's a gorgeous dog for you to fall in love with as well and whilst reading about him, I felt I could actually see him sitting in front of me and see the pain in his eyes-aww!
This is truly a novel to help you appreciate what you have and make you evaluate whether the material possessions in your life are anywhere near as important as the relationships that you have. This book is far from a downer though, it is full of moments of pure joy and will motivate you to seize the day, so to speak. This is a unique book and something which everyone should make space in their reading piles for!
36 of 36 people found this review helpful
This is the first Lucy Dillon book I have read or listened to and without doubt it is my favourite listen of the year so far. I loved the characters, the story, the narration and could not stop listening. It is an intelligent chick lit book, mostly free of the cliches that so many chick lit authors use. It is beautifully written and ultimately life affirming.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
Perhaps I was not the intended reader of this story as it seemed a little trite. If you're into romances, it will have lots for you as it recounts the history of the heroine through three relationships, idealistic first love, ill-chosen marriage and the more mature love after suffering. However, I found the story rather predictable and, perhaps because I'm not greatly materialistic, did not get excited about the "stuff" which brought the heroine memories of when and where she had acquired it. It seemed a little too neat that she was able to resolve the personal difficulties she had with old relationships and with her mother during the course of the story. But overall it was a pleasant and undemanding listen and was well performed by the narrator.
I didn't finish this book, even though I tried a dozen times. The narrator is far too old to be depicting a young woman who is going through a divorce. Her voice is gravely like she has smoked 40 fags a day for 40 years.. I just couldn't get into this very boring book!