Novella Review: 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover by Carolyn Moncel

5 Reasons to Leave a Lover – A Novella and Other Short Stories – Carolyn Moncel

In 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover, author Carolyn Moncel offers up a fresh batch of stories based on love and loss. As singer/songwriter, Paul Simon so eloquently suggested in a famous song from the 1970s, there are many ways to leave a lover. However, Moncel’s characters demonstrate that the reasons for leaving in the first place are quite finite. Encounters in Paris` Ellery and Julien Roulet return, picking up their lives where the short story, “Pandora`s Box Revisited,” ends. This time the Roulets are involved in a love triangle, and along with two other couples, must explore how love relationships are affected and splinter due to abuse, ambivalence, deception, cheating and death. This bittersweet collection of tales proves that some breakups are necessary; while others are voluntary; and still others are simply destined and beyond anyone’s control.

I haven’t read ‘Encounters in Paris’ so for me, this is the first time I’ve read about Ellery and Julien Roulet.

Set in Paris, the novella begins with Ellery having slept during the day after an emotional time.  Husband Julien has picked up their children, twins Evie and Maddie from school, and has left the apartment.  Ellery contacts her best friend Lola as she has a need to talk but Lola is not available.

What follows is an emotional rollercoaster ride for all the members of the family due to Ellery finding a love letter written to Julien’s mistress.

What I thought:

The author explores the feelings and thoughts of everyone involved.  We get to read about the point of view of Ellery who initially blames herself and then goes on a whirlwind of destruction and unusually the author explores Julien’s point of view who has been torn in two and is unsure if he is making the right decision.  You realise when reading his reflections that he has misunderstood an event … but it is not this alone that has led them to where they are.  His mistress Katrine also has a voice in the novella.  The portrayal of the twins and how they feel is heartbreaking.

I found this story thought provoking and although we don’t have a satisfactory ending, I believe this is a reflection of real life!

The final short story is very poignant and I think reflects traditional values.  It portrays emotions from a man at the other end of a lifespan.  His thoughts show the reader that it is possible for a love relationship to survive hardship and continue and to mourn when love has gone.  Again, I think the author portrays the emotions true to life.

5 Reasons to Leave a Lover has the following rating from me:

I would like to thank the author for providing a copy to review.

About the author

Carolyn Moncel is a media consultant by day and budding short story writer by night, she takes her inspiration from everywhere. Most of her stories are set in places where she has lived: Chicago, Paris and Geneva.

She started writing because she realized that it’s very difficult for her not to tell a story. She comes from a family of storytellers, so she has heard some sort of tale all her life. She tells stories to her family, friends and even her clients. Even her non-fiction, business articles usually end with a moral.

Short stories and novellas are her preferred genres because they allow her to describe brief moments in time and get off the page. She likes to make readers think, but she also like to leave them with a bit of suspense.

Carolyn was featured in one of my Secret Squirrel blog posts.  She is working on a project with her daughter.  To read the post, please click here.

Find out more about Carolyn Moncel by visiting her website where you will be able to connect with her via Twitter and Facebook and read free versions of short stories.


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