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One of my guilty pleasures is browsing charity shops for books. One book which I recently came across is this chick-lit novel by Harriet Evans called 'The Love of Her Life. The book was released in the United Kingdom in 2008 and is currently available to buy from Amazon from as little as 1p which I think is great value for money.
~ * The Plot * ~
Meet Kate, a London girl. She was happy living in London until that dreadful day. Will Kate ever be able to return to London and reunite with the love of her life? Read The Love of Her Life to find out!
~ * So What Did I Think.... * ~
I really liked the plot. Every time the characters kept mentioning what Kate ran away from (readers don't find out until near the end), I kept thinking oh I bet it was something simple like Kate getting dumped and them being over the top. But when I did find out what had happened, I thought it was really good and added drama and depth to the story. I was addicted to the book and just could not put it down. It's definitely one of the best chick-lit books I have ever read!
~ * What About The Characters? * ~
I loved the characters in this book, especially the main character Kate; I thought that she was a very nice and genuine, down to earth character. I thought that she was really easy to relate to and I felt as though I really knew her. I also liked the other characters; especially her two best friends Zoe and Francesca. I thought that the characters were good ones and well developed. I actually felt sad saying goodbye to them at the end. It's definitely a heartfelt and heart-warming read. There's something good about a book when you feel you care about the characters; and that's exactly how I felt; I actually cared about what happened to the characters,
~ * What About The Author? * ~
I liked the author's way with words. Harriet Evans is brilliant with her descriptive writing; she explains fully what is going on without going into too much detail; she makes you feel as though you are really there. I really felt as though I was a part of the story.
I liked how the book kept flicking back and forth throughout the book; I would think I wonder what happened or why this has happened or why so-and-so is being like this now, then you would have to keep on reading for a few chapters before you could find out what had happened previously which I thought was good as it keeps readers on suspense and hungry to keep turning the pages.
I was a bit annoyed with the ending. I knew what was going to happen and while we knew what happened in the end, I just felt that the ending was left a little rushed and messy; so much that I was left with certain questions (I won't say what the questions were as I do not want to spoil it for you.
All in all I would definitely recommend this book! It's a fantastic read! It would make a great holiday read. I can't wait to read more books by Harriet Evans.
Thanks for reading!
Xd-o-n-z-x (CIAO & DOOYOO)
The love of her life:
Kate Miller is an office assistant to a small book publishers in New York. She lives with her mum and stepdad in their apartment and lives a quiet, unassuming life. She has been there for three years and is content for things to stay the same.
Her stepmother phones from England to say her dad is ill and Kate needs to go home. This is more difficult than she thought it would be as it means facing her friends and family again.
Three years ago, Kate's life was very different - she had a high flying job at a new women's magazine, her two best friends Francesca and Zoe and her flat in London. Something happened, something which caused Kate to go to New York. And something which she hasn't face up to until now.....
Having read Harriet Evan's other books, I was looking forward to reading this one and it lived up to expectations. It's a brilliant book - whilst not the most original storyline, what I liked is how the book tells the story, From the start you know something happened, but it's not what you think and the beauty of the story is the way in which you do discover everything.
It's a funny book, but also sad, and Kate is an identifiable character - we've all run away from situations in our life and had to deal with them later and she comes across as believable.
I had been looking forward to reading The Love of Her life since I read a review for it a couple of months ago. I managed to get hold of it last week and I managed to read it in a couple of days between other things.
The book is centred on Kate Miller, living in New York, with family and friends both in New York and London. We don't learn a lot about Kate right at the beginning of the book and at this point it does seem a bit slow, but if you persevere through the first twenty pages that don't make a lot of sense then I promise you you will be hooked.
Kate is living with her Mum and step dad in New York, but her father is ill in London. Kate knows she has to go back to see him, but right at the beginning of the book we learn an undercurrent that Kate is nervous and worried about returning to London and seeing both her father and old friends.
Why she feels like this isn't divulged straight away and I think this is part of the reason why the book is a slow starter. Once Kate is back in London, the book picks up pace a bit and we start to meet the other characters that will make this book a heart wrenching joyful read.
The book jumps into the past and the future as its being told. At first I thought this was going to be difficult to keep up with, but it actually works well to explain the storyline perfectly, and we learn all the necessary snippets about the characters that help the plot fall into place.
We start the book in 2007 but jump backwards and forwards right back to 2003.
Kate has a close knit circle of friends including her best friends Zoe, Charly and Francesca. Zoe is married to Steve, and whilst Steve features heavily in the book, right at the beginning we learn that Steve isn't around in Zoe's life anymore but we aren't told why to start with. I was completely off target with my guess on this one which was brilliantly done by Evans as she built up the suspense until the reader needed to know the details.
Charly was Kate's best friend at work, and she's also not involved in Kate's life anymore. I have to admit I did kind of guess what was happening with Charly as the inclinations around her character were just a bit too obvious as I read, but it was still interesting to read and find out how it was going to be written.
Sean is Kate's boyfriend in the middle years of the book. They started off flat sharing and eventually became an item. Sean and Kate are so well suited that it took me a while to work out what route they were going to take.
Francesca doesn't feature too heavily in the book to start with but she plays an important role in the later years.
There is also one extra character that I have deliberately left out as they are an important part but they flit in and out. By explaining it here it may give some of the plot away and I don't want to do that for any potential reader.
All of the above characters are written well, and are all equally as important to the book as Kate is. She interacts with each and all of them to tell a joyful, tearful, worryingly good story. If you have heart strings this book will pull them on more than one page.
I struggled to keep the tears inside my eyes on many occasions reading this book, and that was both through sadness and joy. It's not often a book can affect me like this but I have to hand it to Evans, she can write by getting into your emotions.
I wanted to be in Kate's life most of the time, helping her, slapping her, hugging her all at the same time.
My one disappointment with this book was the ending. I found it to be slightly flat and it felt like it ended abruptly and almost rushed which was a shame. However there is probably scope to continue with the same storyline if Evans so chose.
I can't rate this book high enough even with the slow start, but I realised that it was needed even though it was boring. I promise you you will enjoy this book if you are a fan of chick lit. It's even worth spending the money to buy it new as you will want to keep it.
Price: £4.99 (Amazon)
It's been three years since Kate Miller swapped London for New York City, her father has become ill though and now the time has come for Kate to return to London and face the things she thought she had left far behind. Before leaving Kate walked out on her job working for a glossy women's magazine and left behind her friends and family. More importantly she left behind the man she thought was the love of her life and broke his heart. With all that left behind her return to London will help Kate discover one thing, can she pick up the pieces of her old life and start to life again.
This is the second of Harriett Evans books I've read since discovering her in the W H Smith's at Stanstead airport. It is the third one she's written and I think it's actually better than the last one I read. It seemed to develop the story a little more and while I really enjoyed the last of her books I read I thought this one actually got me even more hooked than the last one. I started to read it around lunch time and apart from making a couple of drinks, didn't put it down till I'd turned the last page, which seems to be happening more and more these days.
I found, just like with Evans first book that I really liked the main character. I think there was something about Kate Miller that every girl could identify with. She is a well created character that kept me on tender hooks trying to find out the secret of her past life in London. It's in that element that Harriett Evans keeps you reading. I found myself willing Kate to get back to her friends and to end up with the man of her dreams.
The story is told in a very easy going format, however unlike Going Home, the previous book I'd read, I found this one slightly more heart wrenching. It has the key elements that chick lit really needs. There is the lead female character that I really liked and thought of as a good friend as I read the book. There is also the relationships with her family, friends and the man she so desperately wants and you so desperately want her to be with.
Just like the previous book by Harriett Evans I read this is an enjoyable story. It held my interest all day and kept me entertained throughout. It is perhaps not quite as easy going as her previous book, but I think that added to the appeal of the storyline. It fits in nicely with the likes of Sophie Kinsella, Jill Mansell et all and I think Harriett will become a favourite author of mine quite quickly. I'll be buying more of her books myself, if you'd like this one however you can get it for £4.03 from amazon at the moment.
Paperback: 486 pages
Although this is Harriet Evan's third novel it is the first one I have read, but I will definitely be changing that fact soon! The Love of Her Life is fantastic; I can't wait to read her other books!
Set in London and New York The Love of Her Life tells the story of Kate, a young woman living in New York with her very colourful mum and step dad. She is living a quiet, detached life; working in a job she is overqualified for, shunning relationships and refusing to have a social life. She is existing rather than living, desperately trying to stay as invisible as possible to the world around her. What has happened to Kate to make her want to live like this? A phone call from home burst her secure little bubble. Her dad is very ill, she will have to return to London to see him and at the same time face the ghosts of her past.
Harriet Evan has written a truly gripping book, I just couldn't put it down. The characters are all very rounded and believable; you especially fall for fragile Kate. The story unfolds using flash backs to explain how Kate has ended up in her current situation. At first they are fond memories of a very happy life full of friends, love and a fantastic job but they soon change and you discover the heartbreaking chain of events that forced her to flee to New York. This novel manages to conceal the major plot twist really well, I didn't figure it out (I'm usually quite good at that) and was so shocked I exclaimed aloud (my husband was a bit surprised!) when I realised what had happened. Everything slots into place and you see everything that has happened up to that point in a completely different light. The plot continues to grip you even after the major secret has been revealed; you still want to know what is going to happen to Kate!
This novel is an easy read, fast moving and addictive you won't want to put it down! I laughed and I cried as I followed Kate through the most painful chapter of her life, slowly getting to know her and what had drove her away from her home, family and friends.
I'm not going to give away anymore of the plot as it would ruin it for anyone who is going to read it. If you want to know what has happened to Kate you will have to read the book!