Saturday, 16 February 2013

Valentine Feature Week Review: Fiona O'Brien - The Love Book

In 1980, three schoolgirls visit St. Valentine's shrine in Dublin, to write their petitions for love. By 2010, these same women have discovered that finding love was the easy part - it's what you do with it once you've found it that's tricky.

When one of the women returns home unexpectedly from California, all three are forced to examine their choices, loves, and lives, which have proved surprising, and in some ways, precarious. So much for St. Valentine - if the saint has taught them anything about love - it's be careful what you wish for . . .

But real love is always a work in progress - and Vonnie, Abby and Diana must learn they need to open their eyes and more especially their hearts - because St. Valentine has some unfinished business with them . . .

The Love Book tells the story of three friends, Vonnie, Abby and Diana, who first meet at boarding school and strike up a close friendship.  During a school trip to Dublin they head to St. Valentine's shrine to leave their wishes for their future loves.  As part of the pledge they make a pact to meet up at the same time of year every ten years to see whether their wishes have come true.

But it's quite some years, almost thirty years, before the three of them are together again as Vonnie had left Ireland suddenly to live in America leaving just Abby and Diana in regular contact with each other.  However the three women do eventually meet up again when Vonnie returns to Ireland for work enabling them to catch up with everything that's happened to them in the interim but have their lives turned out the way they wanted them to?

The three women's stories were interwoven throughout the book with chapters for each of them, as well as chapters for several other characters, plus an element of mystery with the chapters entitled 'The Affair'.  We get to find out about the events that led up to Vonnie's sudden disappearance all those years ago, as well as seeing the problems that they've all been dealing with in their relationships, but it's not clear until towards the end who it is that is having the affair.  

This is one of those books that once I started reading I did not want to put down, I carried it with me everywhere and read a few chapters whenever I had a few minutes to spare.  Having read all of Fiona O'Brien's previous books, I can safely say that this is her best book to date and I cannot wait to read more by her in the future.

I'd like to thank Poppy at Hodder Stoughton for sending me a copy of The Love Book to review.

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