* Prices may differ from that shown
I love Carole Matthews, and was excited about reading this book. I always worry, though, that good authors' new books won't live up to expectations...there wasn't much to worry about here!
Lyssa and Jake are trying for a baby. Or at least, they were. Four years later, and several IVF attempts later, Jake decides that he doesn't want to be stuck in this cycle any more, and swaps Lyssa for a younger, more free spririted, girl at work, Neve.
The book follows Lyssa as she tries to come to terms with Jake leaving, and her future being taken away. For a while, she can't believe that he isn't coming back, and despite her crazy actions, Carole portrays a perfect look into the head of a newly separated woman. Ironically, its Jake's sister and friends that show Lyssa that she has to move on, while Jake snuggles up with new housemate Neve.
While Lyssa makes some touch decisions, such as leaving her beloved job as a baby magazine writer, she also finds a new love interest in Dean. Jakes life, however, isn't turning out quite as rosy as he had imagined.
While it sounds typical, the book is flowing and its interesting being able to follow Jake's new life and see his thoughts, too. I found the lack of communication between the pair shocking, and at the end I was desperate for them to get back together. It does have predictable parts, such as the relationship between Lyssa and Dean, but there are some shocks, too.
I have taken a liking to Carole Matthew books over the last few months and the latest one I picked up in the library last week was "With or Without you".
Lyssa and Jake have been together for four years and they are desperately trying for a baby, or so Lyssa thought until Jake decided to tell her it was over one morning at breakfast. After several failed attempts at IVF it would seem that Jake has had enough of the boredom of trying for a baby that he's not even sure he wants, and is hankering after a younger free spirited model at work.
Lyssa can't quite believe Jake would just leave and she goes through a denial period where we see her do some daft things that are not altogether too farfetched for the book. With the support of Jake's friend Pip and her sister Elsa who can somehow pop out babies one after the other, Lyssa slowly comes to terms with the fact that Jake won't be coming back and he's moved on and in with the lovely Neve.
It's time to do something drastic. Lyssa can't face her job working for a baby magazine when she knows she is failing at even attempting to become a mother. She's also slightly jealous of the fact that Neve has the love of her life and is brave enough to go trekking in the mountains. What better way for Lyssa to get away than to go on an adventure of her own. To Nepal on a walking trek!
Everyone thinks Lyssa is mad, rightly so as she is very unfit, but she is determined that the break and the adventure will do her good.
Despite being scared out of her mind, she takes the plunge and travels to Nepal to meet her trekking companions and hunky tour guide Dean.
As soon as Dean is entered into the pages, it's obvious that he is going to be a love interest for Lyssa. Why not. I found that the Dean and Lyssa storyline was swept along quite quickly, and perhaps could have been shortened, but needless to say despite this it worked well for the book.
The book is told from Lyssa's point of view as well as Jakes. We learn as a reader that he is still going to be an active character in the book, and it's almost just deserts as Jake's life takes a turn for the worse as Lyssa's starts to get better.
I enjoyed reading about Lyssa's adventures much more than the chapters about Jake and life in the UK. This was intended though as Lyssa is the main character and she is who we are to focus on. I thought the book was slightly too cheesy and it fits well into the chick lit category. There wasn't a lot of suspense or twists to the plot in this book though, and whilst that didn't spoil it for me it may do for some readers. It's not one of Matthews's strongest plots, but it's definitely a light feel good read and still recommended.
There is an almost dramatic ending but you won't be surprised when you get to the last chapter to realise what is happening. What you will realise by the end of the book is that Lyssa deserves some luck after all she has been through.
Carole Matthews is one of my favourite authors. Since reading a couple of her books; A compromising position, and A whiff of scandal, I have really got into her writing. This is the most recent of all her books which I have read and I am looking forward to reading many more. Her books remind me of Belinda Jones work (I love Capri, Diva Las Vegas, The Love Acadamy), whose books I also love.
When Jake tells Lyssa their 4 year relationship is over, she is devastated. Their relationship has been though and stressful recently with the IVF tretment but what had she doen to deserve this?
Lyssa soon discovers Jakes real reason for the break up in the form of Everest climbing Neeve, his co-worker. Lyssa is determined to get him back but with everyone telling her she is "obsessed" with having a baby and blaming her for the break up, she cracks, and decides to ditch her normal ways and travel to Nepal for a months trecking through the Himalayas. Putting her life on hold, against what her sister Edie, anmd friend Pip says, off she goes.
But among the couples and experts in her trecking group, is Dean, the leader of the group, ex-American citizen, he moved to Nepal to get away from the hustle and bustle of life in the city, Lyssa finds herself falling for the trecking master, and Nepal itself, with her thoughts of Jake slipping away and her priorities changing.
But what about bacjk home, will she back to Jake, when he crawls backj with his tail between his legs, and will life in London ever live up to her taste of the ultimate rural life.
Lyssa: Where Lyssa is concerned, we definitely see a large chabge in her character throughout the book. At the beginning of the book we feel sorry for her, her boyfriends' dumped her, she's child-kess and her age is creeping up fast. Everyone else in the book seems to be against hwe, and she's weak in her character. She needs to "look after" other people, and everything she does is for other people, never for herself.
But we gradually see her change, no longer does she rely on other people, she becomes much more independant, and realises her whole life is ahead of her. She doesn't need other people to make her happy, of course there are alot of events leading up to this change in Lyssa and it's not an apparent thing to happen, it's slow and sly and happens gradually and is very cleverly done- Lyssa becomes and inspiration.
Dean- I must say in the earlier parts of the story I don't trust Dean, I think he's trouble and I think his Himalayas mountain man is a clever act he uses to entice women into bed. But as the story progresses he does become more genuine, I do start beliving in him a little more, but I don't think he is described enough. Normally I can get a picture of a character in my head, but with Dean I can't. I like to able to see a character. Dean becomes more likeable as he goes on, although he doesn't change like all of the other characters in the book, he stays the same, but he does become more likelable as we understand him more.
The book is really very good, as with all of her other books and Belinda Jones books (who Matthews is very much like), the story really paints a picture of the scene for the reader and in this book, you feel your in Nepal with Lyssa with the wonderful descriptions by the writer, this is possibly as Matthews travelled to Nepal for research before writing this book so everything feels real.
The characters are all very believable whihc is something which I like in a book as it means I can really connect with the book and the characters, rather thsan making me feel like I am reading a fake story.
The story is excellent, and you really feel your taking sides by the end of the book, are you team Jake or team Dean...or do you wsnt Lyssa top go it alone for once. I must admit, I was hoping Lyssa would take Jake back, yes he is a prat, and yes he made a big mistake in Neeve, but as with the other characters, he does go through a change.
The book is a typical Chick-Lit book, but in such a heart warming and amazing way, I finished the book in less than two nights, I couldn't put the book down!
I definitelty recommend the book to all chick lit fans, the story is of love and changes, and it's a fabulous read. Read if you like Belinda Jones books or any other Carole Matthews books!
Thanks for reading!
I had never read a book by Carole Matthews before i purchased this book. I only purchased the book on impulse as it was near the tills. However im really glad that i did as its a really funny romantic book that i have read several times. A really good "chick lit" book that i found hard to put down at times. The character is easy to relate to which makes the book even more enjoyable. The story is about a young couple who have drifted apart due to the pressures of IVF, the man has gone off with another woman and the woman is struggling to cope. She decides to make some changes in her life and sets off on a once in a life time trip - trekking through the himalayas in Nepal. On this trip she meets and falls in love with a young man who shows her a different way of life and makes her feel happy once again. After the trip she returns back to the UK to find that her ex now wants her back, and has to make the decision between a new life in Nepal or her old life in England. Brilliant read would definately recommend this book. Had me laughing out loud several times!