I went to a World Book Night event last week (or possibly the week before) with Maggie O’Farrell and Jenny Brown.
I read Esme Lennox years ago, and didn’t particularly enjoy it, but I didn’t hate it either so I read Maggie O’Farrell’s latest book before I went to the live event. I was glad I had: I loved the book and I felt that I got more out of the event having read it.
Anyway, that’s all some background to say that after the event I decided I really wanted to read another, and so I picked My Lover’s Lover off my shelf, where it had been languishing for some years and started it.
I feel somewhat disappointed now, but also cheered by the thought that the author is probably getting better with each book she has written.
My Lover’s Lover is a Rebecca-like tale of Lily and her new lover, Marcus. And Lily’s obsession with Sinead, who is ‘no longer with us’ … but was very much with Marcus until recently. Lily narrates the first part of the novel, and like the new Mrs de Winter seems to be a bit of a mouse of a creature, who ends up in bed with the glamorous,older architect, Marcus, living in the warehouse apartment he designed himself. She starts seeing Sinead everywhere, and believes her ghost has come back to tell her something.
For me, the warehouse apartment is almost the strongest character in the book (more echoes of Rebecca with Manderley?).
I wonder if my disappointment in this book was related to the fact I’d loved the live event so much? Or that I had just read both Rebecca and Rebecca’s Tale? It certainly drew from Rebecca, with the two lovers even watching Hitchcock’s Rebecca in an early scene in the book.
I’m now reading Oliver Twist for book group, but think that the next book should be Ewan Morrison’s Menage. I like reading books that feel as though they have some link with what you’ve just read, and this seems perfect.
- World Book Night: Stephen Fry joins million giveaway (guardian.co.uk)
- The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell (doctordolittle.wordpress.com)