Having been privileged to help reveal the cover to Amelia Henley’s second book, The Art of Loving You in a post you can see here, I’m delighted to share my review of the the book today. My enormous thanks to Amelia for sending me a copy in return for an honest review.
I was utterly thrilled to find myself mentioned in the Acknowledgements after I had read The Art of Loving You.
Amelia Henley’s The Life We Almost Had was my joint book of the year in 2020 and I stayed in here with Amelia here on the blog to discuss it, having shared my review here.
The Art of Loving You will be published by Harper Collins imprint HQ on 22nd July 2021 and is available for pre-order through the links here.
The Art of Loving You
Perfect for fans of Rebecca Serle, Josie Silver and Sophie Cousens.
* * * *
They were so in love . . .
And then life changed forever . . .
Will they find happiness again?
Libby and Jack are the happiest they’ve ever been. Thanks to their dear friend, eighty-year-old Sid, they’ve just bought their first house together, and it’s the beginning of the life they’ve always dreamed of.
But the universe has other plans for Libby and Jack and a devastating twist of fate shatters their world.
All of a sudden life is looking very different, and unlikely though it seems, might Sid be the one person who can help Libby and Jack move forward when what they loved the most has been lost?
The Art of Loving You is a beautiful love story for our times. Romantic and uplifting, it will break your heart and then put it back together again.
My Review of The Art of Loving You
Libby and Jack have a new home.
Oh dear. Amelia Henley’s books should definitely come with a warning. If you’re not prepared to put your life on hold as you read and to have your heart completely destroyed, to wade through entire boxes of tissues and to wonder if you’ll ever recover, then don’t pick up The Art of Loving You. It broke me completely and I loved it.
It’s the heightened emotional tension that is so brilliantly created that makes The Art of Loving You such an affecting read. I felt completely entranced as I read; anxious, tense and yet filled with warmth and love too. It’s some considerable skill from an author to be able create such atmosphere. I genuinely had to pause at times to give my physical responses to Amelia Henley’s writing time to abate and at one point when I was waiting to go in to the dentist, I was crying so hard at what I read, the person in the next car donned their mask and came to see if I was all right!
I thought the characters were wonderful. There’s a relatively small cast so that the reader gets to know them intimately. I found it fascinating how Owen and Norma, who are hardly present, help shape so much of what happens. The relationship between Libby and Jack is, of course, at the heart of the narrative and is totally convincing, mesmerising and heart-breaking as well as being uplifting and suffused with hope, but it was the other forms of relationship, especially those created through chance and the butterfly effect, that I found completely fascinating. The relationship between Libby and her mother and Alice exemplifies perfectly how families work, but at the same time in The Art of Loving You we see how family is a loose concept. Sid’s influence on so many of the relationships is natural, realistic and convincing and I thought the presence of Liam and Noah worked so well to illustrate the fluidity of relationships, the randomness of those we form relationships with and, perhaps more importantly, how we can never truly know what is going on in another person’s life.
The plot is brilliant. On the surface The Art Of Loving You is a fairly simple love story. Except it isn’t. I can’t say too much more because it would spoil the read, but fate, the blurring of realities, and the full gamut of human emotion and experience from love to hate, joy to despair, life to death weaves through the story so that The Art of Loving You can be enjoyed on many, many levels. Again, theme is impossible to write about in a review as to discuss the topics presented here would uncover aspects a reader needs to discover for themselves. Let me just say that they are wonderful, brilliantly explored and utterly, utterly convincing.
I am aware that this review is vague and unsatisfying, but Amelia Henley has written such a deep and beautiful story with such intricacy and depth that anything more will spoil the experience of reading The Art of Loving You for others. Let me just say that, should you read this book, you won’t be left unaffected or unquestioning and you’ll definitely want to be more Jack! The Art of Loving You is wonderful. Don’t miss it.
About Amelia Henley
Amelia Henley is a hopeless romantic who has a penchant for exploring the intricacies of relationships through writing heart-breaking, high-concept love stories.
Amelia also writes psychological thrillers under her real name, Louise Jensen. As Louise Jensen she has sold over a million copies of her global number one bestsellers. Her stories have been translated into twenty-five languages and optioned for TV as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers list. Louise’s books have been nominated for multiple awards.
The Life We Almost Had was the first story she’s written as Amelia Henley.
You can follow Amelia on Twitter @MsAmeliaHenley and find her on Instagram or Facebook.
You can find out more about Amelia writing as Louise Jensen by visiting her website, finding her on Facebook and following her on Twitter @Fab_fiction.
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