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Jen and her partner, Michael, met at a fancy dress party almost four years ago. Michael made it clear from the start he didn’t want children as he already has a son from a former relationship. Jen has just discovered she’s pregnant and is apprehensive of Michael’s reaction and elated because she’s been quashing her desire to be a mother. Despite her friend Marcia’s urging she didn’t set out to deceive Michael, it’s just one of those unforeseen occurrences. Jen has every intention of telling Michael immediately but he arrives home on a motorbike, not very family orientated, having traded in the car. Jen is also nervous because Michael seems on edge lately and she wonders if he’s having a mid-life crisis. Not to mention the fact his previous relationships have never lasted longer than four years.
After talking to Hannah, her ex’s mother who she is very close to, Jen decides to do all she can to save her relationship with Michael, which involves drastic action. If she can find out, and understand, why Michael’s past relationships didn’t last she might be have an idea how to save her own.
Jen feels Michael has always held something of himself back and coupled with his strange behaviour, causes Jen to suspect he is planning on ending things between them. That feeling and Jen’s secret affects them both until it seems nothing will be able save their relationship.
I enjoyed reading the book very much. Romance isn’t usually a genre I choose unless it has other elements to the story. This book deals with some serious issues and is well crafted, sensitive and with no over exaggerated, slushy sentimentality. Characters are well defined and mostly easy to relate to. I particularly liked the relationship between Hannah and Jen but couldn’t really warm to Marcia for quite a while, even though I was able to sympathise with her situation.
The structure of the story works really well. Jen tells her story in the present and the first person. Alternate chapters reveal Michael’s story from when he was a little boy, until the two timelines merge past with present and complete the understanding of why Michael has become the man he is. I became lost in the story and found it quite moving.
My review is voluntary based on a digital copy of the book from the author
You can enjoy this one on the beach, but it has an emotional heft that will stick in your mind long after you've finished it.
I received an advance reading copy of this book in return for an honest review.
A clever and well written tale. Told from both viewpoints, we see Jen coping in the present on the approach to four years with Michael; his r
relationship limit. And from Michael's past, we understand why as his past relationships unfold with repercussions for Jen.
With well defined, strong characters, I was soon drawn into the (crazy) world of Jen along with her unique friendships; her ex would be mother in-law and say it how it is Marcia. I loved how the main characters meet and how Michael tries to ignore his relationship demons throughout the book, leaving you wondering until the very end.
An enjoyable, emotional read where strong issues are dealt with in a sensitive manner.
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Jen and her boyfriend Michael have been together for nearly four years.Read more