by Dani Atkins
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publishing Date: 28th January 2016
Source: Copy provided by the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 512
Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult)
The stunning new emotional drama from ebook phenomenon Dani Atkins, author of Fractured – perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Dorothy Koomson.
This is the story of Ally and Charlotte, whose paths have intersected over the years though they’ve never really been close friends. Charlotte married Ally’s ex and first true love, David. Fate is about to bring them together one last, dramatic time and change their lives forever.
Full of Dani’s signature warmth and emotion, this is a gripping and emotional family drama. With breath-taking plot twists, Dani explores themes of serendipity, friendship and love. She fully engages the reader in the dilemmas faced by her characters. What would you do if your husband was the love of somebody else’s life? And when faced with an agonising decision, could you put the past behind you and do the right thing?
Oh man. It is going to be very difficult. I’ve read Dani Atkins’ both previous books and they had incredible impact on me – they were so emotional and if I were looking for author to compare the writing to, I would go for Jessica Thompson. I haven’t reviewed Dani’s debut novel „Fractured”, as it left me speechless and I couldn’t find enough words to prize it, and I also loved „The Story of Us”, so you can imagine how excited I was when, totally unexpectedly, a beautiful proof copy of „Our Song” arrived on my doorstep.
There is no need to say that I started reading this book with great anticipation and expectations – and now I am wondering if I read the same book as other reviewers who are singing it prizes. Sure, it was beautifully written, with a lot of feeling, understanding and compassion, but for me that was all. I had a feeling that I’ve been there, I’ve seen this and the story couldn’t surprise me with anything. It was -screaming and kicking – heading to the end that I could predict already when I started to read it. I am really sorry to say, but this story couldn’t keep my attention and I wasn’t hooked – as I was hoping I’d be.
It was also told in the simplest way ever, present intertwined with past, but both of those stories lacked in originality for me, I really had a feeling that I’ve read thousands such stories. The characters were also not the ones that I warmed immediately to and yes, I had compassion with them, but still I didn’t feel any connection to them. And I disliked Charlotte. I don’t know, there was something in her that was off – putting, and I wouldn’t like to have her as a friend.
Of course there are also aspects that I liked in this book. It is amazing that everything there happens actually during only 24 hours – in this time we get to know the characters and their background, and we keep our fingers crossed for them in the present. Thanks to the flashbacks to the past the author deeply describes the characters and gives us a chance to really get to know them. The jumping between past and present is seamless and flaws effortlessly, and often we are presented with the same situation seen through different perspectives, through different points of view, through the eyes of Ally, Charlotte, David or Joe. Dani Atkins’ writing style is beautiful and she can wonderfully describe the most difficult scenes and feelings.
But for me the book, and especially the passages in the past, dragged on much too long – there was actually only one decision to be made, everything led to this decision and it was obvious it is going to happen, and for me it was just too much – the whole story, with all the flashbacks, characters’ stories, a very long book.
There is so much hype about this book and it was really one of my most anticipated reads this year, and I am really sad that it wasn’t for me. I do realise it is a special novel. It is intense and full of important messages and some very difficult decisions to be made. It is a very moving love story that already tugs at the readers’ heartstrings, a story that can make you think about fate, destiny and how you never know what can happen, but a story that just wasn’t for me. I am sure it’s going to be a very acclaimed book, judging by the wonderful reviews, it is going to be a big hit, and I am happy for this book, really happy, and you can say that I am wrong in my feelings – that’s okay. I enjoyed this book, but not as much as I’d hoped.