For fans of Jojo Moyes, David Nicholls and Sophie Kinsella, here is a Pride and Prejudice for the modern era.
Londoners Kim and Harry can’t see eye to eye…until the life of the person they both love most hangs in the balance.
Kim has never grasped what her free-spirited big sister Eva sees in a stuck-up banker like Harry and has spent her childhood trying to keep him out, while Harry’s favourite occupation is winding Kim up.
Both Harry and Kim are too trapped in their prejudices to care about what’s really going on beneath the surface of each other’s lives. They’ll never understand each other — until the worst of all tragedy strikes.
Faced with the possibility of losing the person they both love most, long-buried secrets come to a head in ways that will change both Harry and Kim forever.
This was one book I requested on Netgalley and then put it off and off and off, and I wasn’t even believing that I would ever get to it. But the other day I decided to give it a go, and now I’m glad I did.
At first I wasn’t very convinced about it, because the writing style just wasn’t my favorite, at all, and the formating (or lack thereof) of the ARC didn’t exactly help me get into it. The story is told in dual POV, between Kim and Harry, in the third person, and throughout a lot of years. My problem with it was that sometimes, during the present timeline, either of them would recall events of years prior, and it would get really confusing. There was also a big overuse of the “… first person talk…, she/he thought.”. I think the book would have been better and easier if it was either written on the first person or if it used this a little less, because it got too much and too confusing.
There’s also a few times during a certain year that we get 2 or 3 sections from an entirely different POV, and while it took me a bit to understand the importance of those little speeches, they were important, and it gave me an outside perspective to Kim’s relationship with her then boyfriend. I just wish that the person in question would have talked to her friend directly, instead of what happened.
Now about the characters… I didn’t LOVE any character of this book, but I had a huge problem with Kim. Throughout the years – and by the end, she had known Harry for about 17 years – she refused to believe anything he said, and always saw the worst in any situation. She always thought he was faking something, or making fun of something, or that his feelings were never genuine. While I understood this when she was a teenager, when she was in her 20’s, this behaviour started to grate me. She never asked, she always assumed, and that was so wrong. She also blamed Harry for the most stupid things, including Eva’s (her sister) decisions.
I liked Harry, though I wish he had made his move a lot sooner, but I understood why he didn’t. I liked that he saw Eva as family, and that meant that Otis and Kim were his family too. I loved how much he grew up throughout the years, and how he fought for himself, what he believed in and his few friends.
Although Eva has a huge role on the story, I wasn’t a big fan of hers either, but she was a fighter, and damn if the book wasn’t a lot sadder because of some things that happened with her. Now, I know she didn’t talk to Kim about Harry because…. stuff, but she should have insisted with her sister in terms of Otis, because Kim believed, even if just a little, that Harry was Otis father, when you as a reader know that there was no way that if Harry was Otis’ dad, that he wouldn’t have assumed him.
The plot itself is mostly the lives of these two different people throughout 9 years of their lives. We get to see snippets of either of their lives and how they connect sometimes and not others, and how they feel about each other, until it all culminates with a tragedy that brings them together and they finally talk about all the misunderstandings that they had throughout the years. I was glad that Kim actually gave Harry a chance to talk, because he deserved that more than anything. I liked the plot, it was purely character driven, but it was subtle and good.
I have mixed feelings about the ending, because it was so open. For one hand, you can almost be sure that things will work out and the “talk” will evolve to something else, on the other hand though, how will that happen? Because these are 2 people who have known each other for 17 years, and one of them doesn’t know what is feeling at all… how will it work? I somehow wished that the book had a little more to that ending, maybe an epilogue or a chapter one year in the future or something, to make perfectly clear that it actually had a HEA, because I’m not really sure it was possible at all.
I really liked this book, much more than I ever thought possible, and the only reason it doesn’t get a higher rating is mostly the writing style, which I wasn’t the biggest fan of, and the unlikability of one of the main characters. I do recommend it if you like general fiction, or women’s fiction, because I wouldn’t even describe this as chick lit.