“There is no such thing as a broken heart. The heart is a muscle not a vase.”
The quote above sums this novel up perfectly and beautifully! But to really explain what it is about… We meet a middle-aged couple who have been married for 10 years, have two young children and to all purposes are very happy in their lives together. Until one day, Kate comes across some emails from her husband to another woman. As they try to discuss and move past this, it transpires that this isn’t the only occurrence and it actually gets much worse from here. We follow Kate through discovering of, dealing with and the consequent living with the situation. This is truly a story about finding oneself, finding solace in those around you and recreating your life once something has tipped your world upside down.
This is a heartbreaking and life affirming story. Raverat writes beautifully and is really grounded in what she writes. We follow Kate through some of the most difficult times of her life, and there is no emotion hidden from us whilst she does this. The questions she has, the feelings she deals with and the actions she does are all so relatable. Your heart breaks alongside hers and as she begins to repair, so do you. There are certain points where Kate will do something really irrational and you can’t help but think… that is so something I would do! You really are alongside her all the way.
The timescale of the novel is done really well also, we all know that a broken heart doesn’t recover in a matter of days, weeks or months. And the insights that Raverat gives us across the different stages and time periods is really reflective of this. Just as developing a character and letting them grow doesn’t take place over a month… Speaking of which, the character development of this story is impeccable and I feel so proud of Kate at the end. It gets to the point where it doesn’t matter if they get back together or not, she has found her feet and she will make the decision that is best for her and her family. She reaches that stage of growth where you trust in her as she trusts in herself once more. Raverat breaks down the third wall and allows you to really resonate with the main character and just get behind her all the way.
A really lovely, understated read. Heartbreaking and heartwarming. It will make you laugh and cry. I absolutely adored this book. I’m going to leave you with a quote from it so you can all get a feel for the fantastic writing of this incredible read…
“Then again, people don’t always know the contents of their own hearts: we are such secrets, even to ourselves.”
Lover by Anna Raverat