5 May 2011

Review 21: My Lover's Lover by Maggie O'Farrell

My Lover's Lover was the only published Maggie O'Farrell book that I hadn't read - I had been put off by both the title and the very generic chick-lit cover in the past. However I bought in the airport a few weeks ago to read on holiday and whilst not my favourite O'Farrell novel by a long shot, I did enjoy it.

My Lover's Lover starts as the story of Lily who has just moved in as Marcus' flatmate and realises that his last girlfriend has only recently left and under apparently mysterious circumstances. As the story unfolds we learn more about what happened to Sinead, the ex and that Marcus and Lily aren't perhaps as normal as they seem.

Lily is presented as the protagonist at the beginning of the novel but as Lily becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Sinead and more is revealed about why she left Marcus the sympathies are gradually switched to Sinead and the way O'Farrell reveals who we should actually rooting for is clever and unexpected. The novel has a rather creepy undertone as Lily's investigations into Sinead to her hallucinating Sinead around the flat and Marcus clearly is not over Sinead leading to rather unnerving behaviour around the flat.

It's an easy read, was a great holiday read, but it has more to it than some of the vapid chick-lit that is out there. The characters are flawed and therefore interesting and the novel has a mystery element intertwined with the romance that gives it more depth. Having said that, I thought the ending was a little anticlimatic as I felt like O'Farrell was building up to something a bit more dramatic than what actually happens. I would highly recommend Maggie O'Farrell as an author but I would go for After You'd Gone first, which is a truly wonderful novel.

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