Jo is single, hurtling towards 40 and with nothing to show for it. She has a plan but before she begins, she decides to throw herself into one final last fling.
Harry is divorced, passionate and very grumpy but he has something about him that people seem to flock to.
He catch’s Jo’s eye at a dinner party and suddenly everything changes for both of them.
This book, is told over a ten-year period and it reflects on the same weekends that they have through different parts of their relationship. The weekends are at this rundown dirty cottage deep in the Shropshire countryside where there is little access to the outside world and clearly whatever happens there stays there. A place to unburden yourself.
The weekends follow a formulaic pattern no matter what has been happening in their lives, no matter what they have left behind or what they have to go back to face after the weekend is over.
A dirty weekend in the literal and figurative sense at the beginning of the relationship with the cottage as well as their own tangled lives. As time moves on interestingly the cottage also begins to change and becomes more instantiated, that initial escapism and living simply lost. Perhaps their passion is lost as well?
I was intrigued by the concept of the way the story was told and was not sure what I was going to get, when I then started back at the beginning of one of Harry and Jo’s weekends. However there were a few times where it was slow and plodding and felt it was being padded out to keep the same concept going for the sake of the story.
I want to say I enjoyed the book, and I certainly did with the descriptions of the house, the landscape, the Shropshire hills and when it seemed to throw all seasons of weather at the cottage. The cosy fueled nights in at the pub and the interesting choices of music. But as Harry and Jo’s relationship progressed I felt like I was voyeuristically watching it come apart piece by piece and it was rather uncomfortable to watch.
Perhaps too much reality to call it a book for escapism. A book that left me disappointed.
Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this novel.
The Weekends of You and Me is out now.
I cannot comment if this atypical of this author’s work as this is the first book I have read. If you have read any of her other works and would like to recommend one, please do.