When Ellie Pilcher at Harper Collins provided a copy of Love In Lockdown by Chloe James in return for an honest review, I wasn’t sure whether a lockdown story would be for me. However, I’m delighted to share my review today.
Published by Avon today, 23rd November 2020, in ebook Love in Lockdown is available for purchase through the links here.
Love in Lockdown
Do you believe in love before first sight?
Lockdown is putting Sophia’s life on pause – just as she planned to put herself out there and meet someone. When the first clap for the keyworkers rings out around her courtyard, she’s moved to tears for all kinds of reasons.
Jack is used to living life to the fullest. He’s going stir-crazy after just days isolating. Until the night he hears a woman crying from the balcony under his. He strikes up a conversation with the stranger and puts a smile on her face.
Soon their balcony meetings are the highlight of Jack and Sophia’s days. But even as they grow closer together, they’re always kept apart.
Can they fall in love during a lockdown?
My Review of Love in Lockdown
Relationships need working on in lockdown!
Initially I wasn’t at all sure I was going to enjoy Love in Lockdown. I found a little too much direct speech for my reader taste and Chloe James’ writing was a bit too close to the real experience of lockdown. However, suddenly I clicked into the rhythm of the narrative and found I actually rather enjoyed the story. Of course there was a lot of direct speech. Chloe James was illustrating the reality of human contact in lockdown. We all had to rely on phones and online chat. Her portrayal of the pandemic situation was so well written that it placed me back into the early weeks of the first full national lockdown incredibly effectively. This is very clever writing. I could identify with, and remember, so many of the references that I felt I was part of the narrative too. I think this is a real strength. Those living alone, in anonymous flats or who are feeling disconnected from society because of Covid 19 might well find considerable solace in Love in Lockdown as it has the potential to make them feel part of the world, albeit vicariously.
Essentially Love in Lockdown is an unusual love story for unusual times. I very much appreciated that Jack and Sophie’s relationship is not based on appearance, but that they gradually get to know one another through interaction and not immediate physical attraction. There’s a charm to this that is quite heart warming and by the end of the Love in Lockdown I wanted them to have a happy ever after ending – although you’ll have to read it for yourself to see if that happens! I enjoyed the secondary characters too, especially because they represent the full range of society from children to the elderly because it made the story feel more inclusive.
However, what I most enjoyed about Love in Lockdown was the overarching message that, although we may have a ‘new normal’, life does go on; birth, marriage, death, love, friendship and community are all still there for us. We may need to reach out for them differently, but with sensitivity towards others and a small amount of effort, life is till there. If there are those, like me initially, who felt reading a book set during the pandemic might be a bit too much, I’d say give Love in Lockdown a try. You might find that you really enjoy it. I did.