What if the one person you wanted to talk to wouldn’t listen?
Winter Gregory and her twin sister Daisy live oceans apart but they still have the ‘twin thing’ going on. Daisy is Winter’s port in the storm, the first person she calls when things go wrong …
And things are wrong. Winter has travelled to a remote Yorkshire village to write her new book, and to escape her ex-boyfriend Dan Bekener. Dan never liked her reliance on Daisy and made her choose – but Winter’s twin will always be her first choice.
She soon finds herself immersed in village life after meeting the troubled Hill family; horse-loving eight-year-old Scarlet and damaged, yet temptingly gorgeous, Alex. The distraction is welcome and, when Winter needs to talk, Daisy is always there.
But Dan can’t stay away and remains intent on driving the sisters apart – because Dan knows something about Daisy…
I adore Jane Lovering’s writing – she’s wonderful at lulling you into a false sense of security. You’re smiling – even laughing out loud – at the clever observational humour then, when you’re least expecting it, she turns everything round in an instant and you’re wiping away tears. And when I don’t read a new book by her as soon as it’s released, I actually get quite annoyed with myself. I Don’t Want To Talk About It – the fifth of Jane’s Yorkshire Romances – has been available for kindle since July of last year, but today Choc Lit are issuing it in paperback and everyone can read it. And I do hope they will… more people really should discover Jane’s wonderful writing.
At the story’s heart are two damaged people. Winter rents a small – very small – cottage in a North Yorkshire village to recover from a broken relationship with Dan, who also happens to be her editor. She’s trying to finish a book on gravestones and the stories behind them to follow up the unexpected success of her first “Book of the Dead’. Her twin sister Daisy is her constant source of support, and the reason for her broken relationship. Alex is damaged too – uncle to eight year old Scarlet, caring for her to the exclusion of all else after the death of his sister, left with a stammer after the trauma of what happened.
The star of the book though is Scarlet. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of small children in books, but I defy anyone not to love her. Eight going on twenty-eight, with a wonderful line in questions and a talent for the perfect one-liner, she steals your heart from the moment she rides into the graveyard on her hobby-horse called Light Bulb. From the moment she dismounted Light Bulb with an exaggerated stride and tethered him to the railings, I knew I was going to love this book. Of course, there’s a real sadness over why she’s so attached to her sock on a stick – but it doesn’t stop you smiling at the stable in her bedroom, the nets of hay and grooming tips, and Light Bulb’s changing expression each time his fragile head is repaired.
There’s some really clever writing here. The first person narrative by Winter is supplemented by Facebook posts, messages, emails and blog entries which give you insights into the other characters that she doesn’t necessarily have – and it’s a device that works really well. Communication is a big issue in this book – because of his stammer, email allows Alex to express himself in a way he can’t when face-to-face (except when he’s had one too many). Did you cringe a bit when I said Alex had a stammer? If I say it’s a source of humour at times, you might think “ouch” too – but it’s perfectly handled, just the embarrassed awkwardness of two people getting to know each other, trying to guess the direction their conversation’s taking.
This book is beautifully balanced. There’s a lot of grief and guilt and sadness, but other moments of total joy. The author has an expert touch with emotions, but also a great eye for creating a scene you can picture vividly, and a real ease with writing sparkly dialogue. She creates characters you feel, care and hurt for – and can write a cracking story.
You might second guess where the story is going, but it doesn’t matter in the least. You’ll enjoy every moment, and – as the end approaches – just make sure you have waterproof mascara and a large box of tissues…
My reading copy of I Don’t Want To Talk About It was my own, purchased from Amazon UK for kindle. And I’m delighted to tell you that Jane Lovering will be my guest on Being Anne on 17th May.
Meet the author
Jane was, presumably, born, although everyone concerned denies all knowledge. However there is evidence that her early years were spent in Devon (she can still talk like a pirate under the right conditions) and of her subsequent removal to Yorkshire under a sack and sedation.
She now lives in North Yorkshire, where she writes romantic comedies and labours under the tragic misapprehension that Johnny Depp is coming for her any day now. Owing to a terrible outbreak of insanity she is now the minder of five cats and three dogs – just as the five kids showed signs of leaving home, and she has to spend considerable amounts of time in a darkened room as a result (of the animals, not the kids leaving home).
Jane’s likes include marshmallows, the smell of cucumbers and the understairs cupboard, words beginning with B, and Doctor Who. She writes with her laptop balanced on her knees whilst lying on her bed, and her children have been brought up to believe that real food has a high carbon content. And a kind of amorphous shape. Not unlike Jane herself, come to think of it.
She had some hobbies once, but she can’t remember what they were.
You can find out more about Jane ( should you wish to, of course) from her blog and website, her Facebook author page, or follow her on Twitter.