This book is published on 19th January 2017 by Sandstone Press. My thanks to them and the author for the review copy and having me on the blog tour.
Set near San Francisco, this warm and funny novel follows the fortunes and failures of Jack and Milly for sixty years. They marry in 1952, and typical of post-war couples, shift up a class. Optimistic and full of plans, they see themselves living the American Dream. Through the years they cling to each other despite having little in common. But the clinging doesn’t always preclude infidelity or disappointment, and the social changes they live through impact on their relationship in complex and surprising ways. Ultimately, though, what holds them together is stronger than what pulls them apart. This is a love story that tells the truth – or one or two truths – about love and marriage.
This book appealed to me from the very first moment I heard about it, I was not disappointed as I delved into the lives of Jack and Milly across the span of so many years of their marriage. Addison Jones is an astute writer who has crafted a wry look at the 'love' within a marriage and how to make it last. Shot through with a pithy humour I found this book captivating.
At the start of the book it is 1950, back then Jack and Milly were known as Jacko and Billie. They were full of life and love and met each other when they were working for the same company. The next chapter takes us forward to 2014 when both characters are ailing, their ages and temperaments starting to get the better of them.
The rest of the book works backwards from the current time to when they got married. This was an excellent tool by the author and I very much enjoyed the story playing out like that. Rather than building forward towards an end we as a reader get to go back to the start.
Addison Jones has skilfully written nuanced characters, neither without their faults. She has gone into depth with them both individually and as a couple and she writes so beautifully I found it hard not to be captivated.
This book is a unique and individual take on love and what it really takes to make a marriage last and what personal costs and sacrifices it takes to make it work. I would guess that the overall thing that I will take from this book is that love endures.
Really recommend this one. It is both tender and stark and had me turning the pages as the years of our characters lifes rolled past. It was beautiful.
About the Author:
Addison Jones is the author of four novels and a collection of short stories, all written under the name of Cynthia Rogerson. Her short stories have been broadcast, anthologised, short-listed and included in literary magazines. She holds a RLF Fellowship at Dundee University, and supervises for the University of Edinburgh’s creative writing program.
Please have a look at the other stops on the blog tour: