Love After Love is not the type of book that would typically make my reading list. Still, as it was included with January’s A Box of Stories box, I felt compelled to give it a go… however, I was left empty. The back of the book promised a lot that it did not deliver.
“Nancy Jansen is the beating heart of her family.
She is the centre around whom many lives turn.
But Nancy has a new role:
Everybody can be happy, Nancy believes, so long as they can be kept apart.
But when these lives start to overlap, collision becomes inevitable, with consequences for all…”
There was a potential promised in that it could have been so much. However, within pages, I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be my cup of tea. By the time I’d reach the 100th page, I was fed up. It almost became a ‘did not read’ but, ever the optimist, I kept going in the vain hope there would be some incredible climax.
I rather disliked Nancy and enjoyed her client’s conversation (patient?), Marie, more. I felt sorry for her husband and children and couldn’t help but feel she was the one who required therapy. She made her oldest daughter’s life hell, snooping through her belongings and yeah. Then there was the situation with her dysfunctional family. Truthfully, I forgot what the story was about and who it was I was supposed to like. Essentially, there was just too much going on.
The only well-developed character was the protagonist, Nancy, whom I didn’t gel with. Everyone else was empty, and they all felt like they didn’t quite belong. However, Alex’s writing style is beautiful. Her descriptive prose is detailed and effectual, it just distracted from the plot and lost me throughout the book.
Overall, while I felt compelled to read to the end, I didn’t really enjoy it. However, the purpose of a story is to be read, so it most definitely fulfilled its purpose. Would I read another book by Alex Hourston? Not out of choice. There are so many books I want to read, any book by her is unlikely to make it to the top of my ‘to read’ pile.