Monday, 28 July 2014

Where Love Lies by Julie Cohen

I loved this book!  It’s fantastic and it’s one that I will pester my friends to read as I just want to share it.

Felicity has the perfect husband.   Quinn adores her and she was swept up in his kindness whilst still grieving the loss of her mother.  He accepts her quirkiness and ensures life is consistent and safe, but is that enough?  Living in the village, where Quinn grew up, with an overpowering mother-in-law very close at hand is proving to be stifling to one who is artistic and impulsive.

Felicity’s world changes when a distinctive fragrance permeates her life and prompts her to recall a long lost love affair.  She turned her back on Ewan ten years ago, but was that the right decision?  Felicity needs to discover if these new overwhelming feelings triggered by the scent are real and what they mean for her future.

The book charts the dilemma for Felicity of seeking where her real love lies, but it goes much deeper than that.  It isn’t simply the story of a woman making a choice, it’s about where does love come from and how do we feel it.  Felicity has the potential to destroy Quinn’s life by choosing Ewan but in finding him she offers Ewan a lifeline that he might otherwise have lost.

Julie Cohen has created a beautifully crafted novel that at times is overwhelming and uncomfortable to read.  It is very well observed and in particular, Felicity’s grief for her mother is palpable.  It asks big questions of what is love and does your head rule your heart; there’s a fair bit of brain science involved too but it’s integral to the story.  It’s not your usual romantic read, it stays with you and I had a late night wanting to see what ultimately happens to these vibrant and flawed characters.  There was a real sense of how people are damaged by grief and loss but it is also full of hope and the redemptive power of love.

I received this book for review through netgalley.  Thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers.