2016 Book Reviews Books and the City Juliet Ashton Simon & Schuster
Book Review: These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton
A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of attending The Books and the City Blogger Evening. Juliet Ashton was one of the authors on the panel and she read an extract of this book and talked about the story and the writing process, the characters, the main topics... I found all of it very interesting and I started this story with high expectations. Here are my thoughts:
Title: These Days of Ours
Author: Juliet Ashton
Published: April 7th 2016 by Simon & Schuster
Blurb: A novel about love. Raw important love. Small, beautiful love. And what happens when the person you love cannot be yours… Perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman, Jane Green and David Nicholls.
Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.
Kate has always loved Charlie - they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn't always follow the journey it should.
But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won't it…?
*First of all I would like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Review: As the blurb says, These Days of Ours is a novel about love, not only romantic love, but all kinds of love. And it's a beautiful novel. Juliet Ashton takes us on a journey with cousins Kate and Becca full of small things and great events, of secrets, betrayals and misunderstandings but above all, full of feelings, emotions and bonds. I had so many emotions while reading it, Kate and Becca's stories are intertwine since they are born, they share everything, even love interests. And by the end of this book, I felt like I was part of their stories too.
Every chapter starts with an invitation to an event, from birthdays parties to weddings, the years pass and we read how these girls grow up, fall in love, fall out of love, argue, reconcile, have kids... a constant presence during all this is Charlie. He was Kate's sweetheart but their young love didn't manage to survive time and when he left of university, they grown apart. It's obvious though that their story is still open but as the years pass, it seems almost impossible that they'll find each other again somehow. I found their story fascinating. So many missed opportunities! But what really got to me was their friendship. I loved reading about them and their interactions, how awkward they were at the beginning and how close they ended up being. I was rooting for them the whole book and I really had no idea how their story was going to end.
Another main topic in the book is family. Not only Kate and Becca are close, but their families too. They support each other and share all their milestones, with all their joys and sorrows. All the characters were really well developed, and I felt like I knew them all personally. I could even anticipate how they would react to certain events before reading it. The one who stole the show for me, was Kate's dad. He was such a wise and supportive man. Plus, he dedicated his life to help an orphanage in China, expecting nothing in return. His life dream was visiting it and I was always wondering if he achieved it or not.
These Days of Ours is a brilliantly written story that I enjoyed immensely. I didn't always approve Kate and Becca's actions, especially Becca's. And there were moments when I didn't even like them, but by the end of it, I was so invested with the story that I would forgive them all. I found their story, their differences, but above all, their friendship amazing. Certainly a very compelling novel.
Rating: 5 stars