Friday, 28 March 2014
Print Length: 352 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1780883250
Publisher: Matador (1 Nov 2012)
When archaeologist Edward Harvey’s wife Felicity inherits almost a million, she gives up her job, buys a restaurant and, as a devotee of Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, starts turning their home into a small eco-farm. Edward is not happy, not least because she seems to be losing interest in him. Taryn is a borderline manic-depressive, a scheming minx, a seductress and user of men. Edward and Taryn don’t know each other but they both know Marianne. To Edward, Marianne is a former classmate who sends him crazy emails. She is Taryn’s best friend, and when Marianne meets Edward, she tells Taryn how wonderful he is and that he is not the philandering type. Taryn sees a challenge and concocts a devious plan to meet him during a series of lectures he is giving at the British Museum. When Edward and Taryn’s paths cross, questions of friendship, loyalty and betrayal are played out against a backdrop of mental fragility and the destabilising effects of a large inheritance…
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.
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. The third part of the series, The Alone Alternative, is about taking a second chance of love in midlife. It is now going through the publication process and is expected to be released in June.
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.
The Alone Alternative is expected to be released in June.
A Meeting of a Different Kind is on Kindle promotion while touring at the unprecedented low price of 99p
Meeting Lydia will also be on Kindle promotion £1.99
The giveaway is 1 x signed copy of The Alone Alternative (UK which will be delivered after publication) or e-copy (International).
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