On the cusp of turning fifty, Adam Sharp likes his life. He’s happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT. But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been: his blazing affair more than twenty years ago with an intelligent and strong-willed actress named Angelina Brown who taught him for the first time what it means to find—and then lose—love. How different might his life have been if he hadn’t let her walk away?
And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously?
Adam Sharp is a typical middle aged guy: he has an IT job, enjoys spending time with friends, and has been with his partner, Claire, for over twenty years. He also cannot forget about a brief affair in his twenties with an Australian soap star, and after all these years he has an opportunity to find out if she was really the love of his life and if he made a huge mistake leaving her all those years ago.
The first part of the book tells the story of Adam and Angelina’s love affair in Melbourne in the 1980’s. Adam is an Englishman who was on a months long IT consultant job there when he came across Angelina. They shared a young love of nightlife and music and each other. Angelina had married young and was separated from her husband, but she came from a conservative family and she was having a difficult time letting go of the relationship. Even though they were in love, when Adam left for the next leg of his work journey, he and Angelina did not commit. She went back to her husband and he moved on with his life, but he never forgot her.
Twenty years later and one email saying “hi” from Angelina brings him right back. Could there really still be something between them? Adam gets the chance to find out as the second part of the novel focuses on them reuniting. This part of the book is the one full of surprises and the one that leaves you thinking for days to come.
I really enjoyed this book. There were some parts that made me very uncomfortable, but it is a subject that many people have thought about – was that person the one that got away? How would my life had been different? And how dark are those rose colored glasses that we see the past with? My favorite aspect of the book was the music; the book had a soundtrack. Adam was a piano player and Angelina a singer and it was where their connection was born and the songs kept that connection alive. There were memories connected to the songs they listened to and played together that kept them reminiscing about each other for years. There is even a Spotify playlist to accompany the book!
I was Into this book. It was an easy, fun read and gave a perspective on relationships that is rarely seen.
Special thanks to Graeme Simsion, St. Martin’s Press & NetGalley for providing my copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.