I’ve been having a bit of a Maggie O’Farrell festival.
Here is the blurb for The Distance Between Us
Stella has fled London to confront the childhood secret which has marked her life. A set of tragic circumstances and a hasty marriage bring Jake from Hong Kong to Britain, where he embarks upon a quest for the father he never knew. When Jake and Stella meet, both of their lives are changed forever.
I didn’t like this novel as much as The Hand that First Held Mine or After You’d Gone, but more than My Lover’s Lover. Stella has a secret and it seems to involve a red-haired man with a Scottish accent (all sorts of ideas run through your mine, but I never guessed the truth). She is very close to her sister Nina (too close I think). Stella runs away from a job in London to a menial job in a hotel in country Scotland. Jake, while searching for his father, turns up at the same hotel. This story has all of the features of an O’Farrell novel; different view points, a mystery, shifting time, etc.
Here are some other reviews …
Here is the blurb for My Lover’s Lover
When Lily meets Marcus at a gallery opening in London, she is immediately attracted to him. In less than a week, she falls deeply in love with the magnetic but elusive architect and moves into his echoing loft apartment in East London.
Nothing could have prepared Lily for what she finds there. A distinct presence of another woman lingers in the loft, one who seems to have disappeared in a hurry, leaving behind a single party dress hanging in the closet, a puzzling mark on the wall, and the suffocating scent of jasmine. Lily’s unsettling curiosity turns to obsession as the spirit of this mysterious woman increasingly haunts her.
Who was she? What were the circumstances of her sudden disappearance? Marcus refuses to talk about the woman or her fate. The apartment’s other inhabitant, Aidan, seems to understand Lily’s concern, but he is also unwilling to give her any information.
This would have to be my least favourite novel. I didn’t like Lily or Marcus and there wasn’t much of Aiden (who I did like). The ghost sections were fabulous, but Lily just seemed creepy and/or mad. I could see what O’Farrell was trying to do (can’t tell you otherwise it will ruin the story), but I just didn’t like it.
Here are some other reviews…