Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Books Read: Mhairi McFarlane - You Had Me at Hello

‘Think of the great duos of history. We're just like them.’ ‘You mean like Kylie and Jason? Torvill and Dean? Sonny and Cher?’ ‘I think you’ve missed the point, Rachel.’

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart. It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

They’d been partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on: Ben is married. Rachel is not. Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.

When Rachel and Ben met at university they struck up a unique easy-going friendship that everybody found it hard to believe that they were not a couple despite Rachel having a boyfriend Rhys and Ben dating plenty of pretty girls from college.  Although their close friendship did cause issues with their relationships, nothing would tear them apart.  

But fast forward to the present day where we find out that something must have happened as they are no longer in contact with each other. Rachel is still living in Manchester working as a court reporter where she's still in regular contact with some of her university friends.  

During a night in with her friends, Rachel is stunned when one of them tells her that they'd bumped into Ben and that he's now back living in town.  So Rachel sets about trying to 'accidentally' bump into Ben herself to try and reconnect with him.  But when she does she finds that the dynamics have now changed as Ben is now the one in a relationship, married to wife Olivia, whereas Rachel is newly single after finally splitting up with her fiance Rhys

This is very much a story told in two parts, the past and the present day.  We see Rachel recounting memories from their university days leading up to the event that shattered their close friendship, as well as present day encounters as they attempt to rebuild their friendship.  

One of the things I enjoyed about this book though was that it's wasn't all just about the 'Rachel and Ben' story, there was interesting parts about her job as a court reporter and the dramas that ensued as a result.  

It's an extremely well-written story with a lot of humour throughout that had me hooked almost from the start, I probably would have read this book in a day if I hadn't had to go to sleep as I had to work the next day!  It's hard to believe that this is Mhairi's debut book so I cannot wait to read her next offering.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Becke at Avon books for sending me You Had Me at Hello, as well as the other books she's sent me this year, to review.

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