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- A Meeting of a Different Kind by Linda MacDonald
Friday, 12 July 2013
Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to be part of the Fiction Addiction Book Tour for A Meeting of a Different Kind by Linda MacDonald.
Edward Harvey's life has been normal, stable, predictable and safe for over 20 years. And this is just how he likes it. He has a beautiful wife, four children and a lovely home with some land. He has a job he loves as a lecturer and his wife Felicity has been the anchor of his family, raising the children and running the home. This has allowed Edward to do pretty much all he wanted career wise. However, recently Edward has noticed some cracks appearing on his somewhat docile lifestyle. Felicity looks different. She's acting different and their relationship appears to be cooling.
When Felicity's mother dies and leaves her a small fortune, Felicity realises that this is the perfect opportunity to follow her own dreams and aspirations. When she first met Edward she had talked about her dream of opening her own restaurant. Now, with the available funds, it seems she can now do this. Edward however feels left out and a little resentful that Felicity is making plans without him and, it appears to Edward, planning a future without him. Edward seeks solace in the email friendship he has struck up with an old school friend Marianne. She appears to understand him better than his own wife and offers much needed reassurances. But, is Edward looking for a little bit more than friendship?
Marianne, has survived a difficult year within her own marriage and also enjoys her email exchanges with Edward. However, her friend Taryn is very interested in the dynamics of this friendship and becomes a little jealous over their friendship. Perhaps she should meet this Edward person herself and make up her own mind about him. She doesn't like the fact that Marianne has something she doesn't! Taryn is a feisty, outwardly confident and animated character. She uses men and then discards them when she is bored. She and Marianne are polar opposites in terms of lifestyle choices, yet they have been friends since University and compliment one another.
A Meeting of a Different Kind is the stand-alone follow up to Meeting Lydia, which I loved. In the first book we learn about Marianne's story. In this book, Edward is the main protagonist. In this story, the fragility of relationships is explored. Marriages, and indeed friendships are often taken for granted or become stale and predictable. The dynamics between Edward and Felicity is not an uncommon story amongst couples who have been together for a long time. I liked all the characters in the book. I liked exploring their flaws and their vulnerabilities. A Meeting of a Different Kind is a story about self-exploration and that basic human desire to feel valued and needed.
Edward is a man who suddenly finds himself redundant as a husband and a lover. His status within his family has always been based around being the hunter/gatherer within the marriage. Now that Felicity is pursuing her own interests and Edward is often left to fend for himself, his confidence that Felicity still loves him is shaken. I love however that Felicity is being given the opportunity to chase her own dreams and can understand the situation from both opposing views.
I really enjoyed this book which ambles along at a relaxing pace. It's the type of book that should be savoured like a fine wine. It's quite sad on some levels but I think this is what its attraction for me is as it explores just how fragile human relationships can become. What do you do when what you thought was a happy marriage, suddenly isn't and the rot appears to have happened overnight? Can it ever be repaired or is it human nature to seek out something different or fight for what was once good? One of my favourite lines from the book which sums this up perfectly is............'the happiness has dissolved like aeroplane trails into the vastness of a bright blue morning sky.' I love this. A great book! I look forward to the next instalment in the series.
There is a giveaway with this tour: The prizes are -
Lapis Lazuli and sterling silver Y-chain necklace
Murano glass heart earrings with rolled gold earwires
2 x hand-knitted luxury pure wool hats – some flexibility with colour options to suit winners
1 x signed copy of Meeting Lydia
Each winner will also receive 1 Meeting Lydia bookmark and a signed A Meeting of a Different Kind postcard.
Correctly identify 2 quotations that Linda MacDonald overheard on a train and used in the first chapter of A Meeting of a Different Kind. See sample on Amazon HERE.
Winners will be drawn from those correctly identifying both quotations. In the event of fewer than five correct entries, those with one correct quotation will go into the draw for the remaining prizes. If there are fewer than 5 entries with two or one correct answer, winners will be drawn from those leaving a comment after a review or guest post during the tour.
Email your answers to: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author:
Linda MacDonald was born and brought up in Cockermouth, on the edge of the Lake District in Cumbria, England. She was educated at the local grammar school and later at Goldsmiths’, University of London where she studied for a BA in psychology and then a PGCE in biology and science. She taught secondary science and biology in Croydon for eleven years before taking some time out to write, paint and make jewellery. In 1990 she was lured back into teaching at a sixth form college in south-east London where she taught health and social care and psychology. For over twenty-five years she was also a visiting tutor in the psychology department at Goldsmiths’.
At the end of 2009, Linda broke her wrist very badly through tripping over a classroom chair. Reminded of the fragility of life and how time was passing with her writing dreams still unfulfilled, she decided to publish her first novel independently. Meeting Lydia was inspired by finding an ex classmate on Friends Reunited. The novel explores the effects of school bullying on later life, and the pros and cons of internet relationships from the perspective of a woman going through a midlife crisis. It was published in September 2011. The stand-alone sequel, A Meeting of a Different Kind, had already been drafted before Linda broke her wrist and was published in November last year. It continues the story from the perspectives of two different characters, looking at issues of friendship, loyalty and betrayal. Both books may be read independently and are being very well-received by a wide ranging readership of men as well as women. It is expected that there will be a third part to the series and this is a work in progress.
Health issues in 2011 prompted Linda to retire from teaching in order to concentrate on her writing career. She hopes that with this new focus she can bring her books to the notice of a larger audience.