Review: 'Love Them and Leave Them' by Sue Shepherd (2016)
On his way home, Ed makes a split-second decision that changes the lives of all those who love him.
Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessie, is stuck in a job with no prospects, her dreams never fulfilled. It will take more than her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, and temperamental best friend, Coco, to give her the confidence to get her life back on track.
But what if Ed had made another decision? It could all have been so different …
Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessica, has a successful career, loving boyfriend, Nick, and a keen eye on her dream home. But when new clients, a temperamental Coco, and her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, walk into her life, Jessica’s perfect world soon starts to unravel.
Not too long ago I was contacted about a new Corazon book release, namely author Sue Shepherd's latest novel 'Love Them and Leave Them.' I've had the pleasure of reading Sue's debut novel, 'Doesn't Everyone Have a Secret?' last year and it was a book I really enjoyed (click here to read my review). This title promises to be quite an interesting read, especially since it deals with the idea of certain events and/or decisions changing our lives, and of those around us, entirely. While in reality we never actually get to see how things would have turned out if we had done something differently, in this novel we get to take a look at just that, which definitely had me curious and excited to give the book a try!
All of us make all kinds of decisions every day of our lives, but we hardly ever step back and think how these decisions influence us and the people around us. When Ed is on his way back home he is forced to make a split-second decision like that; a decision that will change everything for the rest of his life and his family. Ed's daughter Jessie is affected as well and as readers we are invited to see how things would have gone in parallel worlds, based on Ed's decision. But not everything depends on decisions made, some things are simply meant to be, no matter what, which also counts for Jessie and certain aspects of her life.
'Love Them and Leave Them' is quite an original novel and I personally haven't read anything like it before. As already explained in the blurb above, the book deals with the idea of parallel worlds, focusing on how exactly specific decisions can influence the course of our lives. The story mainly focuses on Jessie: in one 'world' she has had a hard blow to deal with when she was just a teenager, which has affected the rest of her life. She's now stuck in a job that's going nowhere and has a boyfriend, Chris, who is completely unreliable. In the other 'world', Jess' life is everything she hoped it would be: she's happy in love with boyfriend Nick and has the job she always dreamt of. But only one simple decision can change everything, and that's something Jessie is about to find out.
I really liked Jess; it was no challenge to warm to her and the two different worlds intrigued me and I was curious to see what would eventually be the outcome. I liked how the stories were linked to one another in particular ways, but also completely different. Nick is a great secondary character, but I have to admit I missed a few other likeable characters, because the majority of them just weren't, such as Chris and Coco. Because of the fascinating storyline I couldn't help but expect some kind of wow-factor, something that would blow me away somehow, but that just didn't happen. Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoyed the book, I just think it could have had that bit extra that would have made it a fantastic read. On the whole, 'Love Them and Leave Them' is a thought-provoking and fascinating read that I enjoyed throughout; another entertaining read by author Sue Shepherd!