5.0 out of 5 stars A unique storyteller that involves the reader., August 28, 2014
This review is from: This Nearly Was Mine: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
Firstly, most who know me as an author and reviewer will know I rarely stray from horror. But despite this, I have to say, I was rather blown away by this read. It opened my eyes to a whole new genre, this may be the first chicklit I have read, but it won't be the last. I entered a world of literature, using words in a dramatically different way and a story that needs no violence to be powerful and thought provoking. A story of family, travelling, romantic struggles and incredibly unconventional relationships. Just by expressing character feelings and emotions it hits you hard and leaves a lasting effect on the reader. Some scenes will have you on the verge of tears, others will have you clenching your fist in anger towards chauvinistic, unsympathetic men. You begin to be grateful you have not experienced anything like this. Or if you have, you'll be weeping in empathy. It is deep, emotional and addictive.
A unique storyteller that involves the reader. You feel as though you are having a conversation with the writer in a restaurant, listening to her incredible tale. It's riveting, and absolutely sensational. A tale with ups and downs that will have your stomach tied in knots.
Simply put, you have Annie, who travels to Spain, fleeing her philandering fiancé and wanting to explore culture and solitude. But she ends up having friends visit which leads to many interesting tales, her difficult sister making an appearance, and even a romantic entanglement. She remains stubborn to this at first, wilful that she does not have feelings for this Romeo, but ultimately falls for this Spanish musician. Resulting in many sexual romps. The writer holds nothing back, being brutally descriptive, so much so that the author warns the readers of the sexual exploits in the coming chapters. By how Francisco is depicted as charming and genuine, with a distinct chin, you cannot help but fall for him also, questioning what took her so long to realise this man loves her. Nancy has an uncanny ability to illustrate love by her use of words. Correctly expressing how one feels when they are in love, and the pang of sorrow at having to say goodbye. Francisco is her rock, cares for her and shows Spain to her in a way that nobody else could have and that she will remember for decades to come. Their love is what one would call a holiday romance. But alas, as is often the case, this romance comes to an abrupt, and upsetting end after some shocking news that forces her to head back home to America to make some very difficult choices, the hardest of which she had to make, was leaving Francisco.
This starts the next part of the story that will have you unable to stop reading, breathless and gasping at what will happen next. It leaves you emotionally raw and delicate as their lives go separate ways, but will fate ensure they stay in touch? Or even reunite? Will there be a happily ever after?
Some magnificent scenery is described, making you want to go on holiday and read this book by the beach! Spain is vividly depicted as a beautiful, exotic place and by the end of this novel you're craving to go there.
This read makes us reminisce at our own youth, and the naivety of it. How our perspective of the world and everything within it changes as we grow older, wiser, and take things in their stride rather than act rash. Also how not only people's opinion of the world has changed, but the earth itself has transformed. Politically, socially, economically and so on. Even how we as a species have changed, how we communicate much more different now, than people did decades ago. Which also exploits the sexist, commitment-phobic men that were as it seems, more common then.
This novel also brings to light the expression 'it's complicated'. Up until this novel I thought I knew what complicated situations of the heart were, I did not. This story explains the conflict one feels with the heart and mind. The heartbreaking decisions we have to make for a more secure future, and if living with anguish for the rest of a person's life is worth all they have worked so hard to achieve. Also the wisdom from both the writers and characters is incredible. Annie, the main character, is given some stellar advice that I have taken on into my own life. Further more, it teaches you to be open minded about many things in life. Broadens our horizons as we see things from different angles and views.
An interesting convention used in the writing is a lot of movie references. One would think this may become monotonous and repetitive, but shockingly it does no such thing. It gives you a perfect idea what the writer is trying to convey by using a popular film to establish feelings, a location, an argument, or any number of 'movie moment' situations.
The ending is soul destroying and by your own personal reaction you come to terms with just how emotionally connected you were to the story and characters within it.
What more can I say? I recommend you read this book, regardless of your genre preference. I went from horror to chicklit and struggled to put this book down. But be warned you'll need a box of tissues and a strong heart.