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