Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Where Love Lies by Julie Cohen

Lately, Felicity just can't shake a shadow of uncertainty. 
Her husband Quinn is the kindest person she knows and loves her peculiarities more than Felicity feels she deserves. But suddenly it's as if she doesn't quite belong. 
Then Felicity experiences something extraordinary: a scent of perfume in the air which evokes memories that have been settled within her for a long time, untouched and undisturbed. As it happens again and again, the memories of a man Felicity hasn't seen for ten years also flutter to the surface. And so do the feelings of being deeply, exquisitely in love . . . 
Overwhelmed and bewildered by her emotions, Felicity tries to resist sinking blissfully into the past. But what if something truly isn't as it should be? What if her mind has been playing tricks on her heart? 
Which would you trust?

Where Love Lies is Julie Cohen's fourth novel and is published by Bantam Press (Transworld) on 31 July 2014.  Julie Cohen's previous novel Dear Thing was featured on Random Things in April 2013.

Felicity and Quinn make an unlikely couple. For Felicity, living in the small village where Quinn spent his childhood, having the neighbours know your business before you do, being part of a well-respected and very close family is so very alien to the world that she comes from. Raised single-handedly by her artist mother, with no siblings or father figure, Felicity sometimes feels as though she's teetering around the edge of her new family, she doesn't quite fit.

Despite these feelings, Felicity and Quinn are in love. They married after a whirlwind romance and their first year together has been filled with love. Quinn is a kind man and Felicity's quirky ways just make him love her more, he dreams of their future family.

When Felicity catches the scent of a very familiar perfume her life turns upside down. She cannot shake the memories of the heady days of a wonderful, if short and heartbreaking, romance with Ewan - a man she has not thought of, or heard from in over ten years.  When she visits an exhibition of her late mother's paintings she is confronted by the image of Ewan and her memories and emotions take over.

Felicity becomes overwhelmed by the memory of Ewan.

Where Love Lies is so much more than romantic fiction and at times I found it to be quite a difficult story to read. The emotion and feeling that is generated by Julie Cohen's incredible way with words can be a little overwhelming at times, and that is certainly not a criticism. To me, it's a sign of a very accomplished author when their words can leave the reader feeling a little breathless and quite shaken.

Felicity's memories of a the feelings of love that she experienced with Ewan all those years ago are the key to the whole story. Her determination to find Ewan and to recreate what she thinks she has lost becomes almost as consuming as the passion that she feels for the man himself.

Julie Cohen creates characters who jump from the page; ethereal, artistic Felicity; steady, dependable and heartbreakingly wonderful Quinn. Quinn's mother Molly; interfering, protective and ultimately hiding her own sorrow and then there's Ewan - the anti-hero, the subject of Felicity's obsession -  a man who appears selfish, self-centred, unkind - yet incredibly attractive and quite dangerous.

The thing that makes Where Love Lies particularly special and quite unique is that despite the obviously emotional, romantic theme to this novel, there is a twist to the story that will make the reader contemplate how love really works. Can our heart really rule our head? How can a particular smell touch our heart, or does it? Julie Cohen has explored the workings of our brain in fine detail, yet the story is not bogged down by this at all, in fact it actually makes the reader look at the characters in a different way.

Julie Cohen is an author who goes from strength to strength. Her stories have depth and substance whilst retaining the familiar themes of love, families and relationships.

My thanks to Tess from Transworld who sent my copy for review.   I'm delighted to be taking part in the Blog Tour for Where Love Lies at the beginning of August and looking forward to welcoming Julie Cohen here to Random Things on Wednesday 6 August when she will be answering my questions.

I'm also looking forward to the launch party for Where Love Lies tomorrow evening in London. I'll be attending with my friend and fellow blogger Anne, who blogs at Being Anne.

Julie Cohen grew up in Maine and studied English at Brown University and Cambridge University. She moved to the UK to research fairies in Victorian children's literature at the University of Reading and this was followed by a career teaching English at secondary level. She now writes full time and is a popular speaker and teacher of creative writing.
She lives with her husband and their son in Berkshire.

For more information about the author and her work, check out her website
She has an author page on Facebook and is on Twitter @julie_cohen

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1 comment:

  1. Excellent review Anne - I just loved this book, and glad to see you felt the same! Thanks for linking to my blog - really looking forward to that launch party tomorrow... xx