Pub Date: 23rd July 2020
Review Date: 6th April 2020
This is not a typical love story, but it’s our love story.
Anna wasn’t looking for love when Adam swept her off her feet but there was no denying their connection, and she believed they would be together forever.
Years later, cracks have appeared in their relationship. Anna is questioning whether their love can really be eternal when a cruel twist of fate delivers a crushing blow, and Anna and Adam are completely lost to one another. Now, Anna needs Adam more than ever, but the way back to him has life-changing consequences.
Is a second chance at first love really worth the sacrifice? Anna needs to decide and time is running out…
The Life We Almost Had is a contemporary romance but as the book’s blurb says ‘this is not a typical love story.’ The narrative starts with the story’s mirror moment, where seven years after meeting and falling in love with Adam, heartbroken Anna is writing a letter. At this stage, it appears Anna and Adam’s relationship has broken down and Anna is ‘hopelessly, irrevocably, lost without him.’ The story then flashes back to when the couple met before continuing in a linear structure as the alternate first-person narratives of Anna and Adam tell the story of how they fell in love and how it all started to fall apart.
Plot wise, the first part of the story has all the trappings of any good romance novel; however, once the story reaches about thirty per-cent it moves to a completely new level and is totally not what I was expecting. Many readers will know that Amelia Henley is the pseudonym of Psychological Thriller writer Louise Jensen, who not only has a reputation for writing stories based on avant-garde medical science but also for her in-depth research into such topics. This is where The Life We Almost Had pushes the boundaries and transcends the romance genre. I don’t want to give any spoilers here but I can reveal the author’s research into this branch of neuroscience is utterly fascinating, and so futuristic the novel felt borderline science fiction. I was gobsmacked when I read the author’s note at the end of the book to discover that it was based on current research.
But it is not just the story’s plotline that makes this book exceptional. The author’s narrative style, in particular the use of first-person narration, takes the reader deep into the character’s thoughts and feelings through an inner stream of consciousness. The prose is almost poetic at times; however, lexical structures are clear and the story moves along at a pace that sucks the reader right in to Anna and Adam’s heart-wrenching story. But make sure you leave some of those tissues for the end of the story. Oh that ending! Just WOW…
Without a question of doubt, Amelia Henley has proven that her skill as a writer is not restricted to one genre. Not only is she able to send shivers down the reader’s spine through placing them in a terrifying situation, but also through the magic of true love.
I would recommend this book for fans of Jojo Moyes, Carol Mason, Emma Cooper, or Caroline Mitchell (author of Chains of Gold).
About the Author
Amelia Henley is a hopeless romantic who has a penchant for exploring the intricacies of relationships through writing heart-breaking, high-concept love stories. Amelia also writes psychological thrillers under her real name, Louise Jensen. As Louise Jensen she has sold over a million copies of her global number one bestsellers. Her stories have been translated into twenty-five languages and optioned for TV as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers list. Louise's books have been nominated for multiple awards.
'The Life We Almost Had' is the first story she's written as Amelia Henley and she can't wait to share it with readers.
Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an Advance Review Copy of this book.