I’ve always been a bit sniffy about picking up a Fiona Collins book. The covers all look so twee and pink and girly – the worst kind of chick lit! – that I’ve never actually read one until now. When I read the synopsis of this book the cover hadn’t been finalised and I was so drawn in by the description that I don’t think it would have mattered anyway. I was hooked.
Arden is in her late forties and just finding her feet again following a divorce from her emotionally abusive husband. When her college friend encourages her to go with her to visit a friend in hospital she recognises a face from the past. Badly injured and hardly able to communicate, Mac was Arden’s first love.
Through the hospital visits we re-live the passionate love affair between an eighteen year old student Arden and Mac her Film Studies lecturer at Warwick University in the late Eighties. Her memories and feelings are underpinned by a series of films that she watched with Mac as part of his lectures on women in film. The movies they discuss, the music, the clothes are all so evocative of the period that you can forgive a little melodrama here and there. It feels like you are right there with them skulking around the campus, hiding their relationship.
Ultimately this is a story that makes a connection. Don’t be afraid to let yourself slip into the bubble between Mac and Arden and the new life that she is tentatively forging for herself. Our flawed leading man and lady will have you laughing along with their exploits and weeping at what could never be.
Supplied by Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. The ebook is available now with a paperback launch planned for 14 Nov 2019.