Love after Love by Alex Hourston #review

Title: Love after Love
Author: Alex Hourston
Publisher: Faber & Faber

Synopsis:

Nancy Jansen is the beating heart of her family.

She is the centre around whom many lives turn.

Mother
Therapist
Daughter
Sister
Wife

But Nancy has a new role:

Lover

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…

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My Review:

Love after Love is a well written novel about one woman’s affair, her relationship with family and her husband, and the impact each has on the other.

The main character, Nancy, is a complicated and actually quite unlikeable character (for me, anyway) – I found her hard to identify with or feel empathy towards, and I didn’t agree with her choices or behaviour, but this didn’t affect my enjoyment of the novel. I often like reading about ‘unlikable’ characters. I think some of the novel’s plot just didn’t engage me hugely – Nancy’s affair makes up the bulk of the storyline but it didn’t really grip my attention. We hear Nancy’s thoughts through the first-person narrative, and Alex Hourston writes in a way that flows so well. At less than 350 pages it’s didn’t take me long to get through.

I did however find that there were some aspects of the novel where I started to lose interest. I personally found the drama with her brother David a little annoying; I wasn’t really interested in his character or why he acted the way he did. The story is also quite slow moving in that not a huge amount ‘happens’, and that is never necessarily a negative thing in a book for me, but I did find myself feeling less engaged in the middle section of the book. However, as the book reaches its conclusion and wraps up, I found myself engrossed again and race through the ending.

Overall, I enjoyed this read and thought the writing was great but I wasn’t blown away by the story itself.

Rating: 3/5

Many thanks to Faber & Faber for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest review.

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