Love Will Tear Us Apart…
About the Book:
Fearing eternal singledom, childhood friends Kate and Paul make the age-old vow that if they don’t find love by thirty, they will marry each other. Years later, with the deadline of their 30th birthdays approaching, the unlikely couple decide to keep their teenage promise. After all, they are such good friends. Surely that’s enough to make a marriage? Now, on the eve of their 10th wedding anniversary, they will discover that love between men and women is more complex, and more precarious, than they could ever have imagined. As Kate struggles with a secret that reaches far into their past, will the couple’s vow become the very thing that threatens their future?
I enjoyed this novel so much. I went into it not knowing what to expect, having never read a Holly Seddon novel before, with only the blurb as my guide. Right from the very first page I wanted to crawl into this novel and stay by Kate’s side, be her best friend, and hold her hand through the tough times, which for Kate, were plentiful.
To celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary, Kate and Paul, along with their two children, spend a week on a winter mini-break in a Cornwall cottage. Kate has found a letter that Paul has had hidden away and the secret is burning a hole in her pocket. She plans on confronting him at the end of the week, after they have celebrated their anniversary dinner. We don’t know what the letter is about and throughout the novel there is plenty of opportunity to guess – and be wrong! As the week unfolds, we are treated to reflections from Kate on her own life along with her shared history with Paul. They met when they were eight, and now, at forty, they have spent so much of their lives together, first as best friends and then as a married couple. Each recollection is like a memory square being laid down into the quilt that is Kate’s and Paul’s shared history. I loved the way this novel was set out, with three clear timelines being followed in a consecutive pattern.
Paul’s parents, Viv and Mick, play a big part in this story. They take Kate into their homes and their hearts very early on and if not for them, Kate would have had a very different life as an adolescent and teenager. She wouldn’t be the first person to love a man for his family. Viv especially was a beautiful soul, a very caring woman who loved Kate like a daughter. I appreciated these positive interactions between Kate and Viv, as well as Kate and Mick. They certainly played a big part in shaping Kate into the woman, and mother, that she was. There were times I felt that Kate possibly appreciated Viv and Mick more that Paul himself!
Kate has some pretty rotten things happen to her along the way. There’s a very well handled sub-plot that examines the abuse of power within a workplace and the shocking way that women can bear the brunt of a fall out while men, in superior roles, can keep on climbing the corporate ladder unaffected. It was really heartbreaking to witness Kate’s life falling apart during her twenties and made me quite angry as well. Through all this, Paul is an ever present and supportive friend, a real rock for Kate in a sea of uncertainty.
“He knows me to my bones.”
There was so much nostalgia generated for me from Kate’s recollections. I am only five years younger than her, so there was a lot of tripping down memory lane for me within this novel. Holly created such an authentic atmosphere for each of her eras, with all of the little things included as well as the significant. This is a novel about friendship and love, about life with all of its highs and lows, about marriage and parenthood. This story is as much about the journey as it is about the big reveal. So well written and so absorbing, it squeezed my heart, brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. One of my top reads this winter.
“…stamp all over the eggshells you walk on around me. Piss me off, I’ll still love you. Say no to me, stand up to me, get a job, if that’s what you want. Or don’t. Get fat, get old, laugh, take risks, have adventures. Let the kids see us argue and the kids see us joke. Let them see what love looks like for us.”
Thanks is extended to Allen and Unwin for providing me with a copy of Love Will Tear Us Apart for review.
About the Author:
Holly Seddon is a full time writer, living slap bang in the middle of Amsterdam with her husband James and a house full of children and pets. Holly has written for newspapers, websites and magazines since her early 20s after growing up in the English countryside, obsessed with music and books. Her first novel, Try Not to Breathe, was published worldwide in 2016 and became a national and international bestseller. Her second novel, Don’t Close Your Eyes, was published in July 2017.
Love Will Tear Us Apart
Published by Atlantic
Imprint – Corvus
Available in Paperback, eBook & Audiobook
Released in Australia via Allen & Unwin 27 June 2018