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But I Told You Last Year That I Loved You [Paperback]

Sue Hepworth
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

9 Jun 2011
Frances has been married to Sol since the beginning of time. He is eccentric and difficult to live with, but she finds him endearing and very funny, even while wanting to strangle him with his own jogging bottoms. Now, something threatens to split them apart. Frances wants one thing and Sol wants another, and there is no way to compromise. But I told you last year that I loved you is a portrait of a mature marriage at a crossroads - intimate, funny, tender and honest.

"clever, funny, subtle, wry, sad and uplifting all at once...Sue Hepworth writes thoughtfully and insightfully, and with such tenderness and humour" Judith Murray, literary agent

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But I Told You Last Year That I Loved You + Plotting for Beginners: A Novel for New Beginnings
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Delicately Nuanced (9 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956845703
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956845702
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 393,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I didn't have the best start for a writer. I was lucky to be born into a large happy family, so I was not a lonely, only child who was constantly scribbling little stories in exercise books with red shiny covers and lined paper, bought from the village newsagents. Nor did I read the entire works of Dostoevsky at the age of eight. Nor did I write my first novel at the age of fourteen.
I read Secret Seven books, dressed up as Davy Crocket, and went on dirt track races round our Lincolnshire farmyard on my bike with my brothers and sisters. As to career aspirations, I wanted to be a secretary so I could wear tight skirts and high heels.
I actually became a research psychologist, a social researcher, a full time mother and various combinations of these. Then I became a writer. I've been a frequent contributor to The Times and have been published in The Guardian, The Observer and The Independent. I live with my husband in the Derbyshire Peak District. I write a regular blog at www.suehepworth.com, and I tweet as @suehepworth

Product Description

From the Publisher

Praise for the author's previous titles:
"Funny, quirky...different, refreshing, and spot-on with its observations" The Guardian; "Dangerously addictive" BBC Radio; "Amusing and unpretentious" The Times; "Full of warmth and wit, this is a romantic and often very moving novel, with a wonderful cast of characters" Lucy Diamond; "Wonderfully funny...enormously satisfying, well-written and perfectly-plotted" Trashionista; "Charming, intelligent and side-splittingly funny" Lynne Barrett-Lee; "Buoyant and charming...hilarious bursts of verve and wit" E Online.

About the Author

About the author: Before becoming a writer, Sue Hepworth worked as a research psychologist, a social researcher, and a full time mother. She has been a frequent contributor to The Times and has been published in The Guardian, The Observer and The Independent. Her earlier novels are Plotting for Beginners and Zuzu's Petals (the former written with Jane Linfoot.) Sue lives in the Derbyshire Peak District and writes a regular blog at suehepworth.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday Reading 3 July 2011
But I Told You Last Year That I Loved You

It's that time of year when holiday reading recommendations are an important part of packing.'But I Told You Last Year I loved You' fits the holiday reading bill on two levels. It's a great read- as Hepworth's 'place sensitive', engaging and often understated work is-but it relates to 'getting away from it all' on an other deeper level.

Beginning with the end of a holiday 'But I Told You' takes us through what many of us feel when we pack up to go home from our hols to the mundane and the routine and the known. Sol not wishing to leave his 'favourite place in all the world' embarks on an emotional journey with Fran to whom he has been married 'since the beginning of time'. Their disparate needs in terms of 'getting away from it all' provides the plot line for a novel which tells much more than a story. Hepworth, more so than in either of her previous two novels, plays with our sympathies. At times we understand Fran's irritations with Sol only too well, at others we can see that he is the Sun in her Sky- and why!

'But I Told You Last Year That I Loved You' has the sense of reality and the stylistic charm we first met in 'Plotting for Beginners'. There are dark moments albeit less sombre than in ' Zuzu's Petals' and dark characters who threaten the well being and peace of mind of Fran the protagonist.

Doing what she always does well, Hepworth gives us once again a strong set of characters, a range of individuals we can take to our hearts,feel irritated by or want to know for real. However there is always that sense with Susan Hepworth's writing that the real world is never far away.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hits the mark 12 Jun 2011
This story takes the reader on a satisfying and enjoyable journey.

The humour and lighthearted style camouflage the growing seriousness of the situation, in which a long-term, loving relationship comes under threat because of conflicting dreams: Sol wants to live in Northumberland, Fran wants to take up the advice job she has been offered in Derbyshire.

An apparently straightforward conflict is complicated by contrasting psychologies, which are richly brought to life.

Fran is an extrovert who is drawn to people, but she becomes both distracted and exhausted by their needs. While she loves Sol, she also needs validation from the outside world - the advice job appears to offer just that opportunity.

Sol doesn't understand - he is internally driven, whether by enthusiasms or personal sticking points - and seems set on escaping interaction with the world.
His original take on life is very demanding, but leads to some glorious one-liners ('your nose is rather reminiscent of the twisted spire in Chesterfield....I like the twisted spire. And don't forget, it's a tourist attraction.')

This man will surely become a new kind of hero in male leads....certainly my husband, when he leaned over my shoulder to take a look, nodded in agreement with the last line in the book.

The lasting impression created by this heart-warming story is one of recognition - that life-changing situations arise all too suddenly, and that understanding how another person works is an eternal puzzle with hard-won insights. Honesty and courageous action eventually distill what matters most - bringing this story to its rightful conclusion.

Sue Hepworth has made a valuable contribution to 'mature' fiction. She demonstrates that strong emotions reduce us all to novice status, regardless of our age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mid Life Crisis 2 April 2012
The terrain of this book is thoroughly middle aged and middle class. It reminded me of a radio 4 afternoon play. I could just imagine Penelope Keith making an appearance. I expected to thoroughly dislike it on those grounds but I found myself charmed against my will. It's very good on the dissection of long-term relationships and surprisingly you find your heart strings a little pulled. When Fran asserts her independence it causes a major rift with her husband, the infuriating Sol. She is absolutely bereft when their relationship starts to fall apart and the reader feels her pain. Not a very feminist message. Putting a label on Sol lets him off the hook on all counts, but it's funny and the dialogue is fresh and realistic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, sensitive and funny.... 23 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book. Sue Hepworth's relaxed tone, mixed with her slightly quirky outlook on life, mean her books are easy to read, yet full of surprises. I loved the honest way in which the author showed the detail of of a loving, yet difficult, long term marriage, set against the fascinating backdrop of rural village life.

So many of us carry on in slightly unsatisfactory relationships for years, regardless, but change inevitably brings deeply buried - and not so deeply buried! - tensions to the surface. Once the children have gone, marital partners are still young enough to pursue the dreams they've had on hold for years. The shock of this freedom, and the resulting push and pull, can crack a relationship open. In this book the fact that other deeper issues are explored and revealed too, adds extra layers of insight and interest.

Very sensitively written, it's simultaneously sad and funny, evoking huge sympathy for both the main characters as they both pursue their own new goals, whilst desperately trying to hold on to and re-evaluate their relationship. Alongside this there's a rich supporting cast, who constantly bring out the wry humour. And despite the struggles, there are plenty of laugh out loud moments. A great book!
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