When life falls apart, friendship will keep you together
Alice Waites has been happily single for almost two years.
When her close friends in The Short Book Group gently question her current distinct lack of interest in men, she accepts that maybe it is time to deal with the past and open herself up to new possibilities.
Oh yes, the time has come to go dating again.
However, things soon unravel for Alice as she uncovers the secret heartache and hopes of those around her. And her most surprising discovery is the life-changing truth which she has kept hidden, even from herself…
Perfect for readers of Milly Johnson, Jojo Moyes or Mhairi McFarlane, It Was You is the fast, funny and touching story of one woman’s journey towards love. (Goodreads)
Before starting this book, I had the expectation that this would be your typical romantic comedy, with lots of hi-jinks. However, it quickly became apparent that beneath this brightly coloured cover lay a story that had a lot more to offer.
The book centers on Alice and her group of friends at a time in their lives when they are at a crossroads. Alice has been off the dating scene for a little while and though she claims that she is happy with her single status; her friends decide to set her up with potential suitors.
Of the three suitors she is set up with, the one that gained the most chuckles from me was Hugh the pathologist and Alice’s date with him at a historical re-enactment. I grimaced and chuckled at what happened to Alice during the event and it made me think that this would be the type of thing that would happen to me
Hugh becomes part of the close knit group and his frankness is the source of many of the more funny bits. He reminds me a lot of Brennan from the TV Bones, especially when he is interacting within a social setting. When he attempts to be funny, people don’t get his jokes and when he is being series they think that he is jesting. He was one of my favorite supporting characters in the book
The second suitor that Alice was set up with was Stephen, who is a work colleague of Craig who is the husband of Alice’s friend Connie. At first he embodied everything that you would want in the hero of a book. He was charming, he knew to say the right thing and he seemed to get on with everyone in her group of friends. If this was a romantic comedy, you know you would be routing for this to all work out and it all looks promising.
Like any romance novel, the course of true love does not run smoothly and you need a good obstacle to keep the memento coming. This is in the form of Alice’s third suitor, who comes out of the left field.
Up to a certain point, there appeared to be no real hint of attraction between the two and they both seemed to share a really platonic relationship. This is tested when it seems that Alice enters the dating pool again and you do see cracks in the friendship forming. I put this down to the fact that it was due to her third suitor apparently moving on from the death of his wire, who happened to be a friend of Alice’s at University. The real reasons are a bit more complex and when the truth came out, it did make sense. However, to find out who Alice ends up with, you have to read the book o see.
All the other members of Alice’s group of friends have relationship issues. However, some are more developed than others. At first, I thought that Miriam and her husband; Greg’s marriage issues would form a secondary plot line. Unfortunately, it is touched on very briefly and I did feel that it would have benefited from further development. There is an opportunity for the author to do a spin off, with the events set around the same time as this book.
Thankfully, the author does go into more detail with Sophie and David’s rather complex working relationship. Sophie is Alice’s friend and work colleague and David is her boss at an interior design business. Sophie is another of my favourite characters in the book and I could see why Alice and she were friends. To the outside world she is this confident, no nonsense woman, who will say it as she sees it. She isn’t known for having lasting relationships, but once again as the book progresses, you see that this is a façade for a sensitive and fragile woman. It became quite clear to me that she had feelings for David, but it didn’t seem like it was the same for David. It is only when Sophie hands in her notice does it force David to re-evaluate his feelings but is it too little too late???
The book ends at the beginning of three new relationships just starting out. As the title suggests, the person who the characters should be with are right in front of them. It also is a book about deep friendships and how having this support network can help you get over the trials and tribulations of life. It was really good read and I felt satisfied with how it ended.
It Was You is a book that has charm and heart that really surprised me. Platt has created a cast of characters who you quickly become invested in and you want the best for them.
If you are looking for something a bit different in your contemporary romances, I can’t recommend this book enough. The laughs that are promised come naturally and in a way that does not seem out of place. Though at times I did manage to predict some of the outcomes, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of this hidden gem.
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