Eleven years ago Jem Catterick and Ralph McLeary fell in love. They thought it would be for ever, that they’d found their happy ending.
Then two became four, a flat became a house. Romantic nights out became sleepless nights in. And life wasn’t so simple anymore.
Now the unimaginable has happened. Two people who were so right together are starting to drift apart – Ralph is standing on the sidelines, and Jem is losing herself. Something has to change. As they try to find a way back to each other, back to what they once had, they both become dangerously distracted – but maybe it’s not too late ton recapture happily ever after…
I shed a little happy tear when I finished this book, later than I should have been still awake, last night. I really enjoyed it, it was refreshing. I had carried it around for a few weeks in my Josh Ritter book bag, filling lunchtime with Ralph and Jem’s latest story. There’s a prequel, ‘Ralph’s Party’ set 11 years ago when the couple in the book first meet, but as is my strange habit, I haven’t read it, though I did buy it for my friend’s birthday present 🙂
The blurb is very vague, and the book is a hundred times more interesting than it suggests. Jewell picks out everyday moments from real life with beautiful and imagery packed words. A large part of the book deals with the weaknesses, pitfalls, sad bits, hard parts, and disappointments of a very long-term relationship. They are uncomfortable to witness, especially between the wonderful Jem and Ralph, who even though I hadn’t read their previous story, I was rooting for from beginning to end. Perhaps the difficulties of true love should be written about more often, because I found so much truth in this book. No matter what hole Jem fell down, or what mistake Ralph made, I couldn’t hate them. They were in a bad place and life wasn’t going well for them, I forgave them and hoped against hope that their love had not been broken along their 11 years.
I have been listening a lot to ‘The Head and the Heart’ recently, and my favourite song has to be ‘Honey Come Home’ – just as I finsihed this book I realised that this song, paying special attention to lyrics of course, serves as a perfect soundtrack to the message of this book. Here, I will share it with you, give your ears and your heart a little treat, and I very much recommend Lisa Jewell’s gorgeous book.
The kids say hello
To us in our separate homes
Darlin’ please come home
I’ve cleaned out the fridge
Wiped the counters off
And put away my clothes
Do you remember every block
Every minute of every walk we used to take
We were young, so many years ago…