Thursday 7 April 2016

Review: These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton

A novel about love. Raw important love. Small, beautiful love. And what happens when the person you love cannot be yours… Perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman, Jane Green and David Nicholls.

Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.

Kate has always loved Charlie - they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn't always follow the journey it should.

But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won't it…?

Review: I was hooked into this novel the moment I picked it up. I read the first 20% on a train and the last 60% on a plane! that's just how compelling a read this is-you want to devour whole chunks of it at a time! This book takes place over nearly 40 years tracking two girls, cousins, their friendship, their family and their own loves and lives. I really liked that fact that this novel was about female friendship but without a focus specifically on that. The underlying theme is their relationship but this is explored through several occasions that they both attend. Some are happy occasions, some are sad occasions and some are seriously disastrous. The fact that it is told through these occasions means that you've got interesting weddings/parties/gatherings to look forward to in addition to wanting to catch up with these women and their lives. 

The structure of this books reads very much like One Day, which is one of my favourite novels and so it made for a very easy read. Some chapters are longer than others but you find yourself uttering those inevitable words 'one more chapter' because of the twisty nature of the plot, you literally have no idea what is going to happen next. I really loved the events that took place because this authors deals with all the issues that life throws at us, death, illness, alcoholism, pride, friendship, unrequited love. You name it it's covered here. These issues aren't thrown in your face though, they are just a matter of fact as you read through about Kate and Becca and so you just take them as they do, very much in your stride, but all the time, willing things to go right for these women, wanting them to have a happy ending. 

I definitely warmed to these characters but my fabourite character of all was secondary character Charlie. It's very hard to talk too much about him without giving away any spoilers but he is so down to earth, despite a few wobbles along the way I loved him dearly the entire time, I really loved the relationship he has with Kate's father, something which really stuck with me after I finished the books. Just as much as I was willing the women to have a happy ending, I was willing Charlie to have a happy ending too. 

This book was pure joy. You will get swept up in the emotion of it all and feel things along with these characters as they do. I definitely gasped out loud more than once when I was reading this book, which is fairly embarrassing when you are in ecomonomy on a long haul flight but the people stuck in the row adjacent to me as well as in front and behind, clearly should have been reading this book too, then they would understand! Definitely something which, if you've not already bought it should be going in your holiday reading pile this year! 

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