Missing You – Louise Douglas

Missing You is a poignant tale of two lonely souls finding each other and trying to get on with their lives after heartbreak. Fen is a young single mum making ends meet by working in a book shop. Every day she’s still haunted by tragic events in her teens for which she feels responsible, involving her drug addicted brother Tomas and their friend Joe.

Sean has just been asked to leave his wife Belle and their daughter Amy, Belle does not want him any more and has already replaced him. Sean becomes Fen’s lodger, and the two broken people eventually connect. This was hard to classify on the frothy scale, as it was quick, cheap and readable, and yet serious in tone; I went with ‘much more substantial’ in the end.

Kooks for your Kindle?– A great selection of complex characters here, even the children. Fen’s four year old son Connor has mild cerebral palsy which slightly affects his walking, he’s as good as gold. Fen’s sister Lucy is becoming a new parent and is in denial about the accident that troubles Fen so much. Sean’s estranged wife Belle is a little self-centred and justifies her callous actions by accusing Sean of being uncommunicative, but of course their six year old daughter is stuck in the middle. There are plenty of well thought out tertiary characters, including Vincent, Fen’s friend and employer at the book shop, and Mrs Rees, devastated mother of Joe.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Both the main characters are so damaged it’s hard for them to to have any hope at first. Sean was so in love with his wife and when she moved her new lover in Sean didn’t make as much of a fuss as I would have expected- in his house with his daughter, while he’s living in a tiny guest room! Fen is totally beaten down and has no confidence, except in one unexpected area- sex. Fortunately she does eventually confront her past.

Painting a picture for your paperback?– It’s a strange coincidence that this book and the one I read prior to it are both set in Bath, although they are at opposite ends of the frothy scale, and it’s a lovely setting even if the story could have taken place anywhere. More vividly portrayed is Fen’s simple existence which borders on self-punishment, also Sean’s tenderness for his daughter.

Nookie for your Nook?– Tasteful yet surprisingly steamy for such a sombre book.

Evaluation of your eBook?– I was surprised by the length of the book, fairly short, the pace is economical, moving along to a later time instead of dragging for the sake of it. The writing is elegant and graceful, beautifully descriptive. The initial sadness and fragility of both main characters is well conveyed, as is the gaining of strength. The mystery of Fen’s past is strung along for most of the book, and I admit to guessing part of it, but it works well. The conclusion is satisfying, with much character growth, not just for the leads. I’d definitely recommend for something a little different, and it’s an absolute bargain.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: only 74p from Amazon.

US: Amazon for $4.22.