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The Valentine's Card Paperback – 17 Jan 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (17 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751544272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751544275
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Funny, original and wise (Kate Fforde)

Cecelia Ahern fans will love this poignant yet witty romance (Sunday Mirror)

A fast paced story with a most unexpected twist (Image Magazine)

You'll laugh and cry your way through this original and touching love story (Closer)

It's a gorgeous ride with a hell of a final shock (Star Magazine)

Book Description

A wonderfully warm and witty romantic comedy novel about the power of love, laughter and friendship.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Primary School Teacher Orla is living in Ireland, and looking forward to seeing her boyfriend Sim soon. Actor Sim has been away in London filming a costume drama. With a reunion on the horizon, Orla is particularly looking forward to Valentine's day and the card that she hopes to get from Sim. But as Orla wakes on February 14th, she receives some dreadful news - Sim has died unexpectedly and suddenly - and now all Orla has been left with is an unopened Valentine's card from him.

Flying to England to sort out Sim's possessions in his London home, Orla searches for one thing - Sim's journal. Sim was never apart from his journal, carrying it everywhere and scribbling notes in it. Orla hopes that the journal may provide information of what life was like for Sim when he was apart from Orla, but as she spends more time in London unearthing moments of Sim's life in London, she realises she may not know everything about him...

I must say the mystery aspect of this story interested me highly. From the beginning I wanted to know what was in Orla's Valentine's card, what Sim had written to her, and as Orla carried it everywhere with her, it will keep in the forefront of readers minds. There was also the mystery of Sim - Who is he really? What was he like in London? Is there anything Sim was keeping from Orla?

I warmed to the secondary characters more than I did Orla and Sim, I couldn't connect with Orla as a character, but that's just me - Everyone responds to characters differently so I'm certain other readers will love her. I really liked Maude, Sim's elderly friend who runs the bookstore and lives above Sim, I liked how supportive she was to Orla, and watching Orla's relationship with Maude grow.
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Format: Paperback
Orla and Simon are apart with Valentine's Day approaching. Simon is following his dream in London as an actor and Orla is patiently waiting at home in Dublin for him.
This long distance relationship is working for them, or so Orla would have us believe.

On Valentine's Day everything changes in a second, just as Orla receives Simon's Valentine's Card, she also receives news that Simon has died suddenly.

In the grieving process Orla holds on tight to the last Valentine's Card from her boyfriend, believing it to be a proposal and not wanting to let go of her last communication with Simon.

She goes to his flat in London to try to discover what his life was like there and to pluck up the courage to read the card. In London she discovers that the Simon she knew so well in Dublin is not the Simon London knew.

This novel had an unusual start with the male lead dying on the first page of chapter one. It was a shocking start but the story that followed was gripping.

I did not warm to Orla and could not feel her grief. I much preferred the supporting cast, friends of Simon and the dearly departed Simon himself.

When Orla did get around to opening the Valentine's Card she became a different person and I did not like her behaviour. I would have usually put a book down at that point BUT I was compelled to finish the book as I cared about the supporting cast and had to know Simon's story.

I am so glad I did continue to read as once Orla saw the error of her recent behaviour and the story unfolded I began to enjoy the story again. The twist at the end was superb.

I did enjoy this story in the main but there was a section where I really struggled to keep going.
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book and found it quite different from what the cover and blurb had led me to expect. It's beautifully written and full of proper grown-up wit, not at all the breathless, girlish chick-lit Valentine's publishing usually chucks at us. Some turns of phrase and physical descriptions are startlingly good (one character's face is 'two superstitious dots on either side of a breadknife nose'). I would describe Juliet Ashton as a hybrid of Marian Keyes and Edna O'Brien - no mean feat. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Orla and her boyfriend Sim are happy together. Sim is an actor currently living in London while he stars in a brand new television show, and Orla is back home in Ireland where she is a teacher, and she does love her job. However, on Valentine's Day morning Orla gets an awful phone call, telling her that Sim has very suddenly died, which is swiftly followed by the delivery of his Valentine's card via the postman. Orla can't bring herself to open it, and instead heads to London to find out more about Sim's over there, and to locate his precious journal as well. Will Orla be able to bring herself to open the card and read Sim's final Valentine's message for her?

The book starts quite abrubtly with Sim's death, and then we are put into the story with Orla, and her finding out he's died and the fallout from that. I was surprised that I didn't find this whole part a little bit more emotional, because I was expecting to tug at my heartstrings a little bit more, but sadly I didn't feel all that moved by it for some reason. I have to be honest and confess that I didn't warm to her that much throughout the book either, she wasn't exactly unlikeable but I wasn't feeling necessarily sympathetic towards her like I had expected to. She didn't obviously deal too well with Sim's death, but as things progress and she finds out more about Sim and his life in London, I can't say I liked her actions much and perhaps that hindered my enjoyment of the book ever so slightly.

I really liked a couple of the other characters though. There's Maude, Orla's landlady in London who is hiding a secret of her own, and her no-nonsense approach to dealing with Orla was quite funny at times too and made me smile.
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