Kate Field comes to the blog today with a romantic woman’s fiction title, full of secrets, lies, change and growth in
The Man I Fell in Love With
Mary has always, since the age of 8, searched for a family, security and the surety that nothing will change. During this time she’d married, given up her opportunity for a university degree, studied and worked on her husband’s work, and managed to divorce herself from her own emotions – being the giver in all things. When her (very selfish) husband decided he was coming out – without actually telling her anything, just making an appearance with his new partner at a school function, Mary is devastated and lost. Convinced that the ‘rumors’ of her ‘turning him gay’ have impacted all of her life – all of her eggs were in one basket with a cowardly man who didn’t bother to respect her: and she expected NO DIFFERENT. See – this is where I had the niggles of a first difficulty with Mary. She didn’t expect anything better or more for herself – she even made excuses for Leo’s despicable behavior, his selfishness, his disregard for all of the research, editing and rewriting she’d done to ‘improve’ his life and career – never giving a thought to herself.
But – I digress – for there are two brothers: Leo, the one she married, and Ethan – the one she would (had she ever allowed herself to ‘feel’ anything) have loved. Or does love. But she’s so consumed with self-recrimination and blaming her mother for being ‘judgmental’, and worried what the neighbors will think that her tentative forays into self-actualization are stunted and often wrong-footed. Fortunately, the people in Mary’s life: from the rather secretive mother-daughter duo who have an unpublished novel from one of Mary’s favorite Victorian-era writers who happens to be her ex-husband’s holy grail, to her ex-mother in law and friend who is gently pushing her and Ethan together, to her mother with a ‘secret’ that really wasn’t a huge surprise with all of Mary’s obsession about her father disappearing when she was 8 and how she allowed her fear of abandonment and upheaval taint her entire life. Get along by going along was more the epitaph of her life – her own lack of confidence, fear of emotion, and worry about gossip had put her into a box, and she sealed it tight.
What emerges is a very slow and far too long overdue series of challenges and choices that have Mary actually finding her own two feet and moving forward. All of the paths were marked for the best choices – she just had to be brave enough to take them. And finally, she does. While I do know that people will wallow and hide from situations, afraid of the changes that are required, Mary’s iron-clad grasp on “what she’d always done” was a tenacious one. Yet, the story made me want to see just how she’d finally move forward (if at all) and whether or not she’d actually realize that her anger, fear and longing were viable and useful emotions, not just things to fear. With a few passages that almost had me throwing the book aside in frustration as the “turned him gay” theme reappeared – a solid prejudice that has no basis in what I considered a relatively intelligent and thoughtful woman, the attempts to make the family relationships continue and gain some sort of ‘normalcy’ in a very unusual circumstances, Field’s writing never lost track of the growth and revelations that Mary needed to face on her way to tomorrow.
Title: The Man I Fell In Love With
Author: Kate Field
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Male / Male, Second Chance, Setting: Britain
Published by: Avon Books UK
Published on: 7 February, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
Sometimes we find happiness where we least expect it…
After twenty years of contented marriage, no one is more surprised than Mary Black when her husband announces he’s leaving her… for another man.
For the sake of the children, Mary has no choice but to pick herself up and start again. She hosts family meals that include Leo and his new partner. She copes with the kids wanting to spend less time with her and more time with their ‘fun’ dads. But one thing she can’t quite ignore is Leo’s gorgeous brother, who has just come back to town…
After living a life of sliding doors and missed opportunities, can Mary finally put herself first and take a chance that could change everything?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.