01 JanI Remember You 54

Sometimes when it comes to reading chicklit, I need something with a little more story to sink my teeth into. I managed to find that with Harriet Evans. Her novels always tend to carry more substance and the characters are my better developed that my usual chicklit offerings.

I Remember youI Remember You by Harriet Evans definitely doesn’t disappoint in that department. Growing up in a small England town, Tessa Tennant always longed for something bigger. She moves to London to become a teacher, leaving the sleepy town of Langford behind her. But twelve years later when she’s hit a run of bad luck – dumped by her boyfriend of two years, out of work, and feeling bummed – she finds herself heading back to Langford. The town feels more quaint than she remembers, but her best friend Adam is still there, so she believes maybe she can settle back in. Unfortunately their past together leads to a bitter fight, and Tess flees to Rome where she meets Peter. But a tragedy in Rome leaves Tess trying to piece her life back together once again. She needs to figure out if Langford is where she wants to be, or if there’s something more just waiting for her to reach out and take.

All in all I enjoyed this story. It had the makings of a good chicklit novel: your imperfect heroine, her gal pals, the guy she’s going to fall for (and one she’s not), and some issues she needs to overcome in herself before she can be truly happy.

Evans always managed to use a good dollop of emotion in her novels. You feel sad at the right times, but happy in the next. That said, it didn’t play on the heartstrings quite as much as the last of her novels I read: The Love of Her Life. This book just wasn’t quite as good in that regard.

I do love Evans’ use of descriptions through out. It helps to make the reader get a better sense of the setting of the novel. While in Langford at Christmas, it felt as though my nose could be cold and red, even though it didn’t say anything about noses. You could feel the sunshine beating down on your face while Tess was in Rome, even though it wasn’t overly mentioned. I liked this inclusion the reader has.

That said, I did find this book to be a little drawn out. The story moved slowly, with new developments coming up gradually. I suppose it’s why I love Evans’ work and dislike it too. Sometimes this slow build up can help to make the story feel more realistic, since self discoveries don’t always happen instantaneously. But again, sometimes it can drag out too long. When Tess goes to Rome I thought that would lead to her moment of realization, and everything seems to indicate that. But when she goes back to Langford it doesn’t quite happen, and she defaults back to how she was. Then again – that is the way life works.

I did enjoy this book, and I recommend all her novels. I give this one three stars.

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