Let me take a step away from the mafia madness of my review last week to post something that was romantic, real, and emotionally raw. Once I hit about the half way mark of The Love of Her Life, I couldn't put it down. This was the book that really started my reading binge lately, and what a reading binge this was! I have thought about the emotional ups and downs of this book now for over and week and still can't get it out of my head. This is one of those books that for me, I realize I'll never get back that "first time" reading experience. What a gem to find at a crazy moment in the year.
Now Kate is a true New Yorker, in love with the pace and rhythm of
Manhattan. But deep down, she knows her life is in a holding pattern,
that there is something -- someone -- more to love. But when her father
becomes ill, Kate realizes it's time to return and face the friends and
the memories she left behind. What really happened before Kate left
London? Can she pick up the pieces and allow herself to love life again?"
Review: This book was the biggest emotional roller coaster! I felt so incredibly jerked around by every emotion possible. For much of the first 1/3 of the book, we're given a view of Kate's life in bits and pieces, starting with her time in New York City. Nothing makes sense and there are only hints of drama to come. Frustratingly, all we get are little glimpses and foreshadowing of events, characters, and relationships to come. Let me be honest, I was a bit bored through that first 1/3 of the book. It was slow and kept giving me information about people and situations that didn't make sense. Why did she act uncomfortable around her supposed best friend? Why did this guy act so mean to her? Why did she run off from London? What is her problem; she's acting like a drama queen and I can't figure out why! Trust me. It all gets answered eventually.
Near the end of the first half of the book, there is a huge twist in events that makes every previous action or conversation make sense. All of the back and forth in time suddenly becomes crystal clear, and I had to go back and reread certain scenes in the book because they suddenly made sense! From that point on, I could NOT put this book down.
This was one of those books that had me uttering things aloud, gasping at scenes, and choking with emotion. I even started to cry during several scenes, mainly out of the complex range of emotions I was feeling for and with the characters. This is not a casual read, nor is it a simple, romantic story. Please trust me when I say that it's complicated. Once again, Harriet Evans captured real life and love in a complex way that felt true to life and the characters she was writing. I really loved this novel and can't recommend it enough. If you're ready for strong emotions and a storyline that have you guessing, then please read this book! Enough said.
*FTC Disclosure: This review was based on a personal copy of the novel.