Saturday, 26 August 2017

Book Review: Little Pieces of You and Me

This novel is one that attracts a reader due to its beautifully laid out front cover; the artwork is fairly minimal, but somehow still manages to stand out on a bookshelf. Recently I've been reading books that contain quite difficult subject matters, so the intention was to read something a little easier and more fluid; however this book was a bit of a shock in the sense that it wasn't at all what I'd expected. Isla and Sophie are best friends and have been since their student days, however life has taken them both in very different directions. Sophie never completed her medical degree but is working in a hospital and has a husband, Liam and step daughter, Rebecca at home in Bristol, whereas Isla is a carefree, single actress currently living and working in Amsterdam with dreams of making it big within the theatre world, either by acting or scriptwriting.

Whilst they were at University the two women each wrote out a list of dreams for the future and both them still think about achieving them, although Sophie definitely feels like her dreams are much further from her reach. Isla has dreams of going to broadway and very nearly hits that dream hard on the head. Through a few short months, both of their lives rapidly change. Isla unexpectedly finds love when she isn't looking for it and he seems like the loveliest of men and his bookshop sounds so interesting; even his customers sound out of the ordinary. One of the reasons that I really enjoyed this book was that not everything in life goes to plan; Isla's life grinds to halt when she's diagnosed with a long term medical condition and she's forced to make several decisions; to give up her broadway dreams, to leave Amsterdam and a love behind and go home to her mother and grandmother in Bristol.

Each of the characters seem to be flawlessly devised and I loved the dynamic between Berenice and Rafael, how much time and energy they gave each other in terms of friendship; a foreigner abroad and an elderly lady with a lifetime love of books. Both of them came across as very kind, creative people who enjoyed having someone to talk to although they both had their own secrets to hide from the world. All of the characters make some sacrifices throughout the book, however you could argue that Sophie made the most, as when Isla was unable to fulfil her dreams of travelling, Sophie went for her and helped her to feel like she was there; they had a fantastic friendship, an incredibly supportive and almost sister-like relationship. In fact, her relationship with Isla is the strongest out of all of her relationships and that is made clear by her struggles to work around Rebecca's near constant teenage angst and her non existent relationship with her parents as they disapprove of her husband.

Overall, I found this novel to be such a surprise; I'm not sure what exactly I expected, but I definitely assumed that it would be an easy, carefree novel and that it wasn't! Well, actually it did start off very full of life's positives, however it did change fairly rapidly, with Isla's diagnosis. There were many themes in this book, including illness, faithfulness, friendship and relationships in general. Sophie was a far stronger character than she appeared at first glance and I admired how well she faired in the face of adversity, whereas Isla was far more sensitive than she originally appeared, although arguably that was due to having a shock diagnosis. As I mentioned previously, the characters of Berenice and Rafael were not only intriguing, but also key to a large portion of the plot, particularly Berenice, which considering the amount of page space she was given, ultimately had a hand in ending without even being present. Greene writes so fluidly, every word flawlessly connects to the next and makes for easy reading due to how well the novel flows, but I liked how there were many underlying elements to the book. It's a great read, but I did feel like it ended abruptly and could've had a bit more explanation in some places, for example Rafael's background was fairly unclear even after finishing the novel.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Back To Top
Designed By Hello Manhattan