Something Like Love – Catherine Dunne

What to expect:
After twenty years of marriage, Ben ups and leaves his wife Rose, their children and their family home in Dublin. Just like that: no words of regret, no compromise, no note – only a simple ‘I don’t love you anymore’. It has taken Rose all this time to get her life together again: she’s brought up her three children, Lisa, Brian and Damien single-handedly, and not without difficulty for never again does she want to be completely broke, or to have to revisit that night in hospital with Damien hovering between life and death. To think about it just makes her shudder. Now Rose is concentrating on her business, the ‘Bonne Bouche’ bakery, and all the clients she’s won, all the friends she’s made. Her accounts are in order, the business is blooming. Life really doesn’t seem too bad. Until Ben returns, again without warning, and it is soon clear that he expects to infiltrate Rose’s carefully created world in the most unwelcome of ways

Don’t be afraid, the story is lighter and more uplifting than the cover suggests (despite its smiley faces it seems sad to me). It’s older than I’d thought- I got it on special assuming it was new- the kindle edition was released last year but the paperback is about 7 years old. There is now a prequel, In the Beginning, released recently.

Kooks for your Kindle?– The supportive characters are not the kooky type, and are beautifully done, although I did get some of Rose’s friends and colleagues mixed up. Her husband is a narcissistic man-child; he has no comprehension of the situation he left Rose in eight years earlier. He’s only interested in money, this is one of the things that hooks the reader- the injustice that Rose is facing. The kids are a mixed bunch, eldest son Damien has addiction issues, teenaged daughter Lisa barely remembers her Dad but feels it nonetheless. All three of the kids are insightfully written by someone who (I suspect) knows teenagers. Rose’s solicitor Pauline is just the kind of woman you want on your side in a messy divorce, she has just the right levels of vengeance. Sam, Rose’s accountant, is also instrumental in extricating her from the situation- in more ways than one. He’s a nice chap.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Rose is a little mature and experienced to take things lying down, and fortunately by the time Ben has magically reappeared she means business. Eight years of no answers, paying the mortgage alone and no child support will do that to a woman I imagine. Following the course of action recommended to her by professionals, Rose has nerves of steel; even while handling other serious issues with her business and her children.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– Set around Dublin, the tale has all the warmth that frothy readers have come to expect from an Irish novel, but not in a stereotypical way. The main setting is the regular day to day life of a single parent family.

Evaluation of your eBook?– The beginning works well with Ben’s return highlighting the injustice, which sucks the reader in. The midsection didn’t feel overly eventful, but acted as a slow buildup of tension to the end- which initially felt insufficiently explosive but then picked up with a nice twist after all. The added element of romance was a nice touch. It’s a gentle, uplifting tale driven by interesting, brave characters. It’s not a long book, nicely priced, an easy read about characters worth caring about.

Frothy Ranking: 3.5/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for only 49p

US: Not on Amazon, but Kobobooks have it for $7.59.