*I requested the opportunity to read Unexpected Lessons in Love via Netgalley. The decision to read it was my own, and this review forms my honest opinion.
What happens when ‘I do’ turns into ‘I don’t know’?
Jeannie always wanted to fall in love, and now she’s finally got the whirlwind romance she dreamed of. Dan’s gorgeous, he’s a successful young vet, and he flew her to New York and proposed on Brooklyn Bridge. Jeannie has to remind herself this is actually her life. It seems too perfect, too magical, to be real. Yet it is.
But now she’s on her way to the wedding she can’t shake off the tight sensation crushing her chest. Is it just nerves . . . or is this all happening a bit too fast?
Jeannie has one last chance to shout, ‘Stop!’ But just as she grabs it, a twist of fate throws everything she knows into the air like confetti. What Jeannie learns about Dan, about her own heart, and about the power of love itself, will change her world for ever . . .
Lucy Dillon is a new author for me, and so my attraction to this novel was based solely on the blurb, which had me hooked. I knew that this was a book I wanted to read.
It did take me a while to warm to Jeannie’s character. I can’t put my finger on precisely why, but I think that her confusion, guilt and her preoccupation with herself as she was during her relationship with Dan shielded me from really getting to know the real her. I wanted to understand her reasoning and who she was better, and it just felt that certain bits of information relevant to the story were dangled a little too long which impacted on my ability to empathise with her character until much later on in the story.
It was from just before the halfway point I really felt that the story began to flow. The sub-plots in particular were wonderful, and the creation of a community around Jeannie were what really made this novel sparkle. This support circle around her becomes the beating heart of the book, and Lady Sadie, Gem, George and Rachel all deserve an extra special mention, once they were present and their stories were playing out alongside the main plot, I couldn’t put this book down. They brought the best out in Jeannie and contributed greatly to my ability to connect with her and understand her.
Once the story really began to unfold I found this to be a fantastic read with some very insightful observations on love, weddings and marriages; ultimately unpacking and examining them as separate entities. Particularly relevant in a climate where weddings so often eclipse the true meaning of marriage.
There is so much that I enjoyed about this novel. It’s about love, but it’s not a romance in the traditional sense, first and foremost it’s a story about discovering yourself, learning to be who you truly are and stand up for what it is you want from life. Unexpected Lessons in Love is a fabulous book for wiling away a lazy Sunday afternoon – or, if you’re lucky enough to see some sun this winter, it would make a great holiday read!
Unexpected Lessons in Love is out now.