The Love of My Life – Louise Douglass

‘I miss him with every breath and heartbeat. He should have been my happy ending. Instead, he is the sad beginning to my story.’

Olivia and Luca Felicone had known each other nearly all their lives, but when they fell in love as teenagers and eloped to London they broke the hearts of those closest to them. Luca’s parents run Marinella’s restaurant, the colourful hub of life in the otherwise bleak north-eastern seaside town of Watersford, and his mother, Angela, has never forgiven Olivia for causing such a rift in her beloved family.

On a freezing January night Olivia’s life is shattered when she learns that Luca has been killed in a car accident. She is left with nothing and, after suffering from weeks of overwhelming grief, she abandons her job and returns north to where Luca has been buried in Watersford.

Olivia’s chance meeting with Luca’s married twin brother, Marc, leads to the realization that he is experiencing a loss almost as painful as her own. Their desolation draws them into an affair which both know has no future, but fills the space where Luca should be. It is a course of action that can only spiral out of control, and when it does the consequences are both explosive and cruel.

The Love of My Life is a beautiful novel that portrays both the innocence of childhood, and the dynamics of love and loss with deftness and sensitivity. It is, above all, a stunning debut from an author with a unique and natural narrative voice

 

Such a moving story about a woman’s life; how she copes when her husband dies, and how her past affects her future.  This book is beautifully written moving from past the present seamlessly.  You can feel Liv’s pain, her desperation as she comes to terms with the loss of the love of her life.  She struggles against a family feud which you learn why in the story she tells.  There are funny bits, bits you can relate to – happy and sad.  Desperate to feel closer to Luca, she moves back to her home town where he’s buried but that isn’t enough.  She falls into an affair with Luca’s twin brother, to help her depression.  But it doesn’t help.  Liv manages to put some of her demons to rest, and comes to terms with the ones she can’t. 

This is quite a sad story, but without being too depressing it describes the grief of loosing a love one.  The author is such a good writer, it’s a sensitive subject but you don’t feel like your trespassing into someone’s grief or detached from the main character. 

I’m rating this as a must read.  My next book is Monday to Friday Man by Alice Peterson

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