File Size: 606 KB
Print Length: 296 pages
Publisher: Safkhet Soul (18 July 2013)
Widower, Dr David Adams, has recently moved to the village – where no one knows him, ergo there’s no fuel for neighbourhood gossip – to start afresh with his ten year old son, if only he can get to a place where his son wants to speak to him. Angry and withdrawn, Jake blames his dad for the death of his mother, and David doesn’t know how to reach him.
Andrea Kelly has too many balls in the air. With three children and a “nuts” mother to care for, her fiancé can’t fathom why she wants to throw something else into the mix and change her career. Surely she already has too much on her plate? Because her plates are skew-whiff and her balls are dropping off all over the place, Andrea points out. She needs to make changes. Still her fiancé, who has a hidden agenda, is dead-set against it.
When Andrea’s house burns mysteriously to the ground and Andrea and her entourage are forced to move in with the enigmatic Dr Adams, however, the village drums soon start beating, fuel aplenty when it turns out someone does know him – the woman carrying his baby.
We’re introduced to David and son Jake on their first night together. Their relationship needs re-building and he realises he doesn’t know his son at all. This is a fresh start for them.
Andrea lives opposite and we’re introduced to her chaotic family life as she is arguing with fiancée Jonathan. They arrange to meet that night but Andrea is left waiting as he doesn’t arrive. Approaching home she realises it’s her house on fire and is gripped with utter terror and panic. This is so vivid I felt the despair and could almost smell the smoke! With no sign of Jonathan, David steps up and offers his home as a sanctuary.
I love it when a character changes from that first impression. It didn’t take me too long to start to change my mind about Jonathan … Sheryl Browne plants that seed of doubt. The more I got to know Jonathan, the more I was sure about my suspicions.
The teenagers were brilliantly portrayed with their angst and their slang language. It was great to see the positive effect the families had on each other after David took Andrea and her brood in. I particularly loved how Ryan affected Jake and how that impacted on his relationship with his dad.
The confrontation itself was very tense (it’s not a romantic confrontation). I wasn’t sure which way things were going to go. I loved that I wasn’t sure of the outcome! As my heart was pounding I was thinking … would there be a death? Would there be more hearbreak?
Grief and the emptiness of loss is explored sensitively and with realism both for GP David and his son Jake but also with Andrea’s friend Sally. I really felt their emotions and could understand why they chose the actions they did.
The romance also brought a conflict of emotions. The children’s well-being was put first and I loved these characters for doing this.
Learning to Love is fast paced and engaging. Not only does the romance sizzle but we see family life in all its shades of grey sprinkled with humour and sadness … and there is an element of suspense and fear. What a combination!
I would like to thank the author for providing an ecopy in exchange for an honest review.