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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars1,719
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 27 March 2008
This is a beautiful and very sad book about love and life. I've never read anything quite like it because on one level it's an easy to read page turner but its also very intense and moving. The characters are real people you really believe they exist adn the situations are so real. It could easily be an autobiography rather than a novel. The central love story is so powerful it stays with you. This is a classic story. Very highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 10 February 2008
I read the first few chapters of this online and bought the book on the strength of that and couldn't put it down. Olivia returns to her hometown for the funeral of her beloved husband Luca and straight away you realise that something has gone badly wrong in the past because his family make it clear she is not welcome. To make things worse, Olivia and Luca's brother Marc begin an affair to help each other through the weeks after Luca's death - each reminds the other of Luca, and although you understand how this happened, you know it's bound to end in disaster.
Over the course of the book, the story of Olivia and Luca's relationship is told, and the strength of their love is made clear, and it becomes painfully obvious why Luca's family will never allow her in to their inner circle. Events spiral, there's a cruel twist and Olivia is pushed so far that she finally accepts that she has to let go.
The characters in this book all have their faults, and this makes them real. I empathised with Olivia who is engaging but far from perfect - the descriptions of her as a difficult teenager are brilliant. It's beautifully written but also very easy to read and the emotions are powerfully described. The ending gives some hope for the future although the last three chapters made me cry my eyes out. Like Olivia, I am now more than a little in love with Luca, I can't get him out of my mind.
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I read this over the weekend and loved every page of it - it's certainly up there in this year's favourite books. I'm not usually a 'soppy romantic read' kind of girl but this is so much more than a love story - it's beautifully written and the characters are flawed but believeable and likeable.

There were certain phrases relating the Liv and Luca's relationship and romance that really struck a chord with me and there were times that I was so deeply moved by parts of the story that I had to put the book down for a few minutes to compose myself.

The way that the author portrayed Liv's grief and depression as a 'black dog' was so brilliant - the reader could almost picture the dog alongside her, almost sucking the joy out of her life and burdening her more and more.

Liv (Olivia), the main character is feisty, sad and honest. She's done things that she isnt proud of, she has hurt people and been hurt - I think that there is a bit of Liv in most of us.

A wonderful debut novel - I cant wait to read her next boo
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on 5 November 2009
One more voice to add to all the praise for this book. Everything has already been said...an excellent, excellent read. Can't wait for the next one by this author.
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on 9 August 2009
This is one of the most fantastic books I've ever read - easy to read, with totally believable characters and situations. It's incredibly sad, yet hopeful at the same time. The descriptions of people and situations (particularly in the 'flashback' chapters) are wonderfully vivid and real. I would thoroughly recommend this book - I truly could not put it down.
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on 30 January 2009
I decided to buy this book after a friend recommended it and then I read all the outstand reviews on here and decided that it might be a nice bedtime read. I do agree that it is hard to put down, I eventually took it to work to read during my lunch break as I was desperate to find out the truth.

I wanted to love this story. I wanted to become completely taken in by it and while I felt Olivia to be a remarkable and powerful character, I found it hard to love it as much as some of my previous reads but its still an amazing book and I would recommend it. I think I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to read it but Louise Douglas is an amazing writer and I would defiantly read more of her books.
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on 3 April 2008
This is without doubt one of the most believable books i have ever read! It is Funny in places and moving in most, Was a complete obsession for me that i complete this book as fast as possible as i wanted to know what happens next for Olivia and the ending is not dissapointing as it finishes how you feel it should, but wont ruin it for you by saying anymore, just make sure you read this superbly written book.
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on 11 December 2009
I found that it was a struggle to engage with the first few chapters of this book (which incidentally are very short 3-5 pages per chapter) as the scene changes frequently as well as the time setting, but it was worth sticking at. The way the book is written fantastically portrays all the stages of grief which Olivia with her constantly changing moods and emotions for those around her has to go through.
The plot remains basic throughout, sticking true to the story of the present, her husband's passing and then flashes back to the past, showing how their relationship had become to be so many years ago. I found my own emotions changed alongside the characters and the author does an amazing job of making you love, hate and totally understand everything Olivia is going through. The story ultimately has a sad underlying theme running throughout but the warmth from the love and passion that certain characters possess keeps you engrossed. There are mysteries as to why she isn't accepted into the Felicone family and the plot slowly unravels making it impossible to put down at any point as the end of each chapter makes you need to read on to discover the next revelation.
A fantastic read of love, loss and the bonds of family. A book with the power to engross and capture the reader, and for a second, make them feel the longing of Olivia and her desire to be with her lost husband. Guaranteed to give you Goosebumps, and leave you open mouthed at the past, present and ultimately the future of its main character.
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on 29 December 2009
I couldn't put this book down once I'd read a few chapters. From the offset its Luca's funeral, Olivia's husband and she is hated by his family - this is obvious! As the story unfolds it delves between her dealing with her grief and living life now and telling the story of why she is so hated by Luca's family, how she met Luca and married him etc. I completely related to the teenage Olivia and how she was seen as the deviant one, and how things spiralled out of control for, explaining therefore why she is hated by Luca's family so much. Love is such an unpredictable emotion and it was such a refreshing read how Olivia dealt with her grief and although its not great that she had an affair with her dead husband's brother I could understand how grief and loneliness caused this to happen. It's a very sad but gripping book. I loved it!
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on 15 November 2009
The story and the words written are completely beautiful,no other word to describe it! I didnt find it predictable and thouroughly enjoyed a good cry at the end!
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