Date: 8th March 2016
Source: Thanks to Hachette NZ
When Jo Coulson finds herself single again in her late thirties, she finally resigns her membership to Last of the Hopeless Romantics, fully intending to tackle midlife and motherhood alone. First, she plans one legendary last fling...
In walks Harry Inchbold, and the connection is electric. Passionate, unpredictable and messily divorced, Harry is the perfect antidote to cosy coupledom. Known as The Sinner, drama follows him around with a clapper board.
Harry's favourite holiday hideaway in the wilds of South Shropshire puts the mud and fun into the perfect dirty weekend. But at the cottage Harry reveals a very different side, melting Jo's resolve. What better combination to face an uncertain future than two cynics who have learned from their mistakes?Together they make a pact; 'same time next year'; they can promise no more than that.
Through life's most stressful decade, Harry and Jo return to the Shropshire hills for one weekend each year to rediscover passion and make peace. As career, family and home crises all threaten to bring them unstuck, the cottage is their glue. Here, different rules apply: the day to day world is not allowed to intrude.With Harry and Jo, however, it's only a matter of time before rules get broken. As real life gets increasingly complicated, can they keep renewing their promise?
Their relationship starts as passionate fling - however life intrudes more and more each weekend away. We only meet Harry and Jo from one away weekend to the next, yet by clever means we the readers, are filled in from year to year via various means. As the years go by, the changes from one break away to the next are obvious. What started out as really promising and fun in The Weekends of You and Me gets mired down in the quirks of fate and the tediousness of the details in life that - well really are important.
Morrow, the small cottage where they meet is an idyllic country spot, at first very rustic then updated, but always a place to relax and unwind. In itself, this place is like a character in the book with its own quirks and faults and possibilities. And it is a witness to all that goes on within between Harry and Jo.
Harry is a a bit of a hedonist, pleasure and life come first and he is not always aware of others needs or emotions. He is intelligent and creative and moves from one venture to another, usually very successfully. He has a twin - Matt. One of them is known as the Sinner and one the Saint. At times I was so annoyed by him, and yet by the time the story ends I felt a creeping understanding.
Jo is a bit of a worrier and pragmatist, but she is ready to love Harry and make their relationship 'sing'. She feels things , is passionate about her work and family. She ultimately cares enough to seek answers.
After eight years together where will all this go? Will they end up together, be able to listen to each other, put up with all those small things that niggle or will they call it a day?
This is an extremely well written book and I love the cover, which just pops with the red! Yet now as I think about it, it also implies weekends by the beach which is totally not the case, it should be on a hillside overlooking the English countryside. Oh well!
For readers who enjoy looking into the ups and downs of a relationship as the years go on. The characters are not perfect, nor are they likely to be in the future.
About the author:
Fiona Walker lives in Warwickshire with her partner and two children plus an assortment of horses and dogs.
Website: Fiona Walker