Where Love Lies by Julie Cohen
|Where Love Lies by Julie Cohen|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Lovely and shocking, funny and moving, this will have you feeling ups and downs all over the place!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: July 2014|
|Publisher: Bantam Press|
|External links: Author's website|
Shortlisted: Romantic Novel Awards 2015 - Contemporary Romantic Novel
Sometimes I read a book I love, and I want very much to tell everyone how wonderful it was and why they should read it but then, of course, you get the 'what's it about' question, and unfortunately talking about the storyline would kill the book! This is one of those books, and so I shall have to tiptoe carefully through my review so as not to spoil it for you all...
Let's start with the basics. Felicity, a children's book author and illustrator, has been married to the lovely Quinn for just a short time. They live in a sweet cottage, in a wonderful village, with Quinn's family nearby. Quinn is the perfect husband, in every way, and surely Felicity's life can't get any better than this? You might well guess that anyone starting out in a book in this way is heading for trouble. Felicity's trouble comes in rather an unusual form however. She begins to experience intense emotions, seemingly preceded by smelling a scent that she recognises from a long time ago in her life. But are the emotions real, or is her imagination playing tricks on her? And are these episodes worthy of a trip to the doctor, or will he dismiss her olfactory experiences as the random ramblings of a confused woman?
Felicity is great. She's also awful! I had very mixed emotions about her throughout the book, jumping from hating her and virtually shouting at her not to be a complete idiot, and then suddenly finding myself turned around completely and loving her very much. I think these changes in emotion reflected a lot of what's going on for Felicity herself, who is see-sawing from one feeling to the next, not knowing what's real and what's not real in her head. If you find, initially, that you're just wanting to give Felicity a big shake, stick with her...you'll love her by the end. My only complaint in relation to Felicity is that the picture book stories she writes, about Igor the Owl, sounded so good that now I want to read them. I feel the definite need for a spin-off series!
Felicity's husband now, well, he's a different matter entirely. Quinn is wonderful. I wasn't sure about him being called Quinn, but really he could've been called anything by the end and I still would have loved him. Imagine your dream husband, the kind of perfect partner that just doesn't exist...well, that's Quinn. He starts out being wonderful, and he just carries on being wonderful all the way through, even in the moments when you'd completely forgive him for being horrible to Felicity he still somehow manages to be the nicest man in the world.
There are lots of other characters weaving in and out of the story. There's an ex-boyfriend who I didn't like at all and had me fairly shouting at the page, and Quinn's family who are all wonderful, and infuriating as in-laws can be, and full of love. I always enjoy Julie Cohen's secondary characters, as they still seem like real people and not just bit-players. As for the story, it's about lots of different things. It's about loss, in a variety of different forms, and it's about family, both being part of a family or raising a family, or starting a family. Mostly, though, it's about love, but not in a wishy-washy let's all live happily every after in a pink castle kind of way. It's about love in its purest form - real love that loves deeply, without question, love that is selfless and true. It's about where that love comes from, and how you know when it's really there. Julie's final paragraph had me weeping because she so perfectly captures love, in all its honest imperfections, and I sat holding the book in my hands for a long time afterwards thinking about her words. When I sit down to read one of Julie's books I know that I will get both that magical escapism that good stories can bring, but also I am made to think, I am prodded and provoked in different ways and given heroines who are both endearing and infuriating and wonderfully real. This book had me thinking in all sorts of ways, making me laugh, making me cry, and I'd urge you to go and get a copy right now so that you can find out why I barely told you anything about the plot and see how wonderful it really is for yourself!
If you haven't read Dear Thing which is Julie's previous book then you need to go and grab a copy right now!
You can read more book reviews or buy Where Love Lies by Julie Cohen at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Where Love Lies by Julie Cohen at Amazon.com.
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