After 5 years together, an Irishwoman and an Englishman break up.
The narrator of this book is an unnamed 30-year-old woman who moved from Dublin to London to join her boyfriend, Theo. She left everything behind—her mother, her job, her country—for Theo. And at first they were happy. Delighting-in-every-moment-exploring-each-other happy. But then life, with all the mundane choices and decisions that can either bring people together or gradually, quietly pull them apart, happened. Now it’s five years later, and she’s trying to pick up the pieces of her heart after Theo has suggested a break but in reality moved out. This is a heart-wrenching, beautiful story told in fragments—short stories in themselves—that track backward in time, from the painful end of a relationship that once had involved deep love to its joyful beginning full of hope. In the process, debut author Hayes has created a moving, memorable, layered story where each new revelation brings the reader to a greater understanding of both the narrator and Theo, the complexity of their relationship, and, indeed, who they are as people. This story deals unflinchingly with tough topics: Love, sexuality, heartbreak, and hope are a given considering the storyline. But Hayes also deals with trauma and abuse and how those experiences affect a person’s mental health, life, and relationships. It’s rare to finish a book and immediately begin reading it again. For many readers, this will be just that book.
A gorgeously told story of heartbreak and recovery that still leaves the reader feeling hopeful about love.