This was my very first book of Alexander McCall Smith who is famous for writing his super hit series of Ladies Detective Agency but I am very happy to read this heartbreaking love story as my first novel of AMS. His writing has depth in words and he explained philosophy of love and relationships that we face in our daily life. And so it looks like written from a personal experience. This books is totally based on hope that one day love will find its way, that love which seems enduring but is out of reach. Sad Ikr ! It takes huge patience to wait for this kind of love and I know when it happens, it looks like the whole world has shrank around one person and everything else is just bleary. In this story it’s not just the two characters who are falling for each other but the problems their parents face in love are there too. So you an say it’s about falling in and out of love both.
Story starts on the Cayman Islands where two families were very close to each other because of their six years old kids Clover and James. They both were best friends and always playing together without any third kid. Clover’s mother, Amanda felt deprived of love because her husband David apparently never cared for anything else other than money. This made Amanda fell out of love with him and she tried to divert her attention from this sad reality. Then she met James’ father and they started to get close to each other but soon they realized it’s not meant to be before anything serious started. James’ mother suspected this and asked him to stay away from Clover because they are not good people. He made other friends and slowly started avoiding Clover and intentionally ignoring her and refusing to play with her after school. Clover who has been showed a very bold girl since childhood was shattered to see this all happening and meanwhile she has realized she is head over heels in love with James. We followed her suffering from Cayman to Scotland, to Australia and to Singapore when kids are separated for their studies. But Clover stuck to the feelings for James and even though she was very pretty and attractive and guys approached her as well, nobody she met lived up to his image in her mind and hence she tried to stay away from everyone.
On the other side, James was portrayed as the carefree teen who did not cared for Clover at all. I know he was doing what his mother asked him to do but parents should keep this thing in mind that misunderstandings of parents should not create voids between kids. It can lead to a heartbreak. After moving away from Cayman, he made a few girlfriends and even boasted off to Clover and for what? to make her feel jealous or to see her reaction? Lame! Throughout the book James seemed to be playing with Clover’s feeling by calling her sister and Clover on the other hand was happy being played with. Then there were her friends who asked her to confess in front of James but she had insecurities that stopped her from telling him. Even Amanda asked her if she can’t confess then let him go but she was stubborn as always and thought her mother didn’t understand her. Meanwhile after years of being separated Amanda and David gave their marriage another chance because they could not lived apart anymore and they both agreed to it. Well this was the only happy plot twist in this book. Therefore, this book talks about hard realities of love.
This is a very reflective novel which is more about feelings and relationships and not much of a drama in it. There is no big shocking plot twist either and it is specially for those who like love stories told slowly. On my personal opinion, do not hold onto someone for so long, either tell them or let yourself be free. Not everyday romance is like books to end up with your love of life who you have meet in early childhood. Alexander showed the gritty side of real life love and what’s more interesting is he used a bit of humor even in this sad love story. Well people no matter what, this book is close to my heart for some personal reasons and one of you know why ❤
My favorite quote from this book is ” ‘People believe that love lasts forever. Or theirs will. That’s why they believe’. She glanced at her daughter. ‘I think that you’ve been… well, just amazingly lucky. The two of you. Sometimes you find that. People meet one another when they’re very young and they stay together for their whole lives, which is as close as we get to forever’.” ❤
Let me know yours (: