In her Twitter bio, Cable calls herself a writer of romance “with a twist” – and that’s a very good description of this book, which centres around two main characters, Robin and Isobel (or Izzy), who met and fell in love in the mid-80s, but then lost touch with each other, living separate lives until bumping into each other again in 2006. The book is told through each of their perspectives in turn, which is used to its full advantage when they both seem to remember their lives together in the ’80s very differently. Romance with a twist, remember?
This book is set on the south coast, in Winchester and Southampton and all the little places along the coast there – places I’m familiar with, which made it that much more of a pleasure to read. Even if you’ve never been to Kimmeridge though, this is still a cracker of a read. It’s the sort of book that you start reading, and then find yourself thinking about whenever you have to put it down in order to do other things.
When we first meet Robin, he’s a tramp: bedraggled and unkempt, recognised by Izzy in the busy Winchester street mostly because of his height. The first part of the book is taken up with unraveling how he ended up here, when he had been an office manager with a degree in botany twenty years ago. Once that mystery is resolved though, another begins to rear its head. The way this is done is brilliant; you’re reading the book from one person’s perspective, talking about the last time they saw each other… and then a few chapters later, the other person is remembering the last time they were together in an altogether different way. To begin with I thought I must have imagined it; perhaps I’d misunderstood what was written a few pages back. Then, perhaps I must have skipped a page or not been paying attention during the paragraph that explained all of this… Eventually it all became clear, that nothing was clear: they both remembered the entirety of their relationship differently. But which version of it was right?
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book; it was really easy to read, but not in an over-simple, “easy read” sort of way. It gets you thinking about what the characters have been doing, what could have happened, how this could be resolved. Since Cable’s previous novel involved a certain amount of ghostly goings on, I felt like the answer to all of this really could be anything.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for something great to read.
Thanks for reading.