I am indebted to Olivia Mead at Quercus books for a copy of Love Notes for Freddie by Eva Rice in return for an honest review. Love Notes for Freddie was published in paperback by Quercus on 28th July 2016 and is available from Amazon UK, Amazon US, Waterstones, WH Smith, directly from the publisher and from all good booksellers.
Love Notes for Freddie
Every ending is a new beginning . . .
No one expected Marnie Fitzpatrick to be expelled from school . . . but the aftermath will haunt her forever.
No one imagined she’d fall for the boy from the wrong side of town . . . until the day she saw him dancing alone.
No one could know she had the one thing he needed to capture his dreams . . . the courage to chase them.
My Review of Love Notes for Freddie
What a triumph of a book. I really enjoyed Eva Rice’s The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, my review of which can be found here, but Love Notes for Freddie is in a different league altogether. It is more sophisticated, more intense and frequently beautiful in style.
Initially I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy the book that starts in a girls’ boarding school as it felt a rather alien world to me, but within a few pages I was completely hooked. The power of emotion conveyed by Julie Crewe’s memories of a lost love and Marnie’s sense of guilt and her passion for Freddy dances off the page in the way Freddy dances for real. There is apparent surface control but also an underlying abandonment that makes the reader understand exactly how the characters are feeling. As several truths are revealed the reader experiences the same sense of loss, shock, love or grief that the characters express. This is wonderful craftsmanship from Eva Rice.
In a sense, Love Notes for Freddie is all about passion and making the most of life, even when it throws the most unexpected elements at us. However, the plot is constructed so intelligently that the themes arise naturally and convincingly. I loved the concept that coming of age is not just the prerogative of the young. I thought the structure of the narrative was perfectly balanced but that the characters’ worlds could come crashing down at any moment – rather like life itself. Indeed, those characters felt real and human, even in their most stereoptypical presentation like Howard with his theatrical persona. Whilst there are echoes of Marnie in Miss Crewe and vice versa, they have distinct voices in their first person stories so that each has her own personality.
But for me, the aspect I enjoyed most was the quality of the writing. There’s a poetic nature to some passages and a staccato feel to others which mirrors the emotions presented at the time in a sophisticated style that I found very effective. I thoroughly enjoyed Love Notes for Freddie, and those who know me well will realise that a reference to Bryan Ferry, even in passing, always pleases!
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