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My Lover's Lover Paperback – Jan 6 2003
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O'Farrell's writing has a crystalline precision of idiom - there isn't one image that fails to ignite recognition―Independent on Sunday
This Rebecca-esque ghost story puts at its heart the gnawing insecurities that any act of intimacy soon invites―Independent
O'Farrell has honourably equalled the success of her first novel, After You'd Gone, with a story that is certainly as absorbing - and just as beautifully written―Sunday Express
A quietly dramatic dissection of the way past loves can haunt the present―Daily Telegraph
...an emotional whirlwind, all passionate yearnings, raw pain and messy truths; powerful in nailing the complications of love without missing it out the power of the emotions involved―Scotsman
About the Author
Maggie O'Farrell is the author of six novels, AFTER YOU'D GONE, MY LOVER'S LOVER, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, and INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award. She lives in Edinburgh.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lily meets Marcus at a party and he would seem to be the perfect man. A handsome, articulate architect, this man would seem to have no flaws. But things are not as they appear, and the mystery of what happened to Marcus' ex-girfriend Sinead begins to inflitrate their relationship. The lines between reality and imagination are very blurry in this novel, and it takes careful attention to the story to avoid some level of frustration. Overall this is an unusual and compelling read, that had me both confused and delighted. I can't say it ranks quite as high as "After you'd gone", but for fans of Maggie O'Farrell, a must read none the less.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I enjoyed O'Farrell's journey through Lily's mind and how she felt in her relationship with Marcus. Her obsession with Sinead was also interesting but none of the characters felt real to me. Lily's leap into a love affair with a man she knows nothing about just seemed a little strange and his avoidance of every question regarding his previous relationship only compounded the evidence of the fact that he was and still is deceptive.
While wondering about a significant other's past relationships is natural, I think that Lily took her curiosity to the extreme at times, even tricking her subconscious into believing things that were not true.
A good piece of fiction, but I would recommend her other novel before this one.
The story of how each woman managed to be deceived is interesting, but not compelling. Most women are intelligent and appropriately skeptical about these things; and judging by the way these women are characterized in the novel, both of our heroines would have been more careful.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this novel is that there is no definite conclusion. It's touted as a novel of suspense; but apart from a crime passionelle, there is nothing too suspenseful about this. The book just wanders off into a foreign country, and all of a sudden the book's over. I wouldn't recommend anyone read this, although many seem to think O'Farrell is capable of much better judging by her first novel After You'd Gone.
The book begins as homage to DuMaurier's `Rebecca' - which is a far superior novel by all accounts - though O'Farrell makes some acknowledgement to this by having Hitchcock's film playing in the background. The novel then changes pace and moves away from its more accomplished counterpart. I like this method of O'Farrell's; she demonstrated it in her previous novel, but it doesn't work as well here. Similarly, O'Farrell's use of metaphor and simile in this novel appear forced at times, in contrast to the ease of language from her first work.
Some other reviewers commented that she lacked the characterisation required in order to make it a more interesting novel - she did. I did not find any of the characters likeable and found myself unable to care what happened to them. It is as though mid-way through writing it, O'Farrell decided she, herself, did not like her protagonist and wanted to concentrate on another. I did see what O'Farrell had attempted to do with the haunting of the previous girlfriend, but thought she was capable of executing this in a far better way.
Nevertheless, `My Lover's Lover' is a worthy read and, perhaps, if I had not read `After You'd Gone' beforehand, I would not be so critical of it.
This is the story of Lily, a twentysomething Londoner who beleives she may have just met the man of her dreams; a handsome, successful architect named Marcus. Lily learns that Marcus' relationship with an ex-girlfriend named Sinead has recently ended under tragic circumstances. Marcus' veiled comments about Sinead lead Lily to believe she has died, but has she? Lily begins to obsess about what happened to Sinead; when she starts to see her image on the street and in her dreams the lines between reality and fantasy become blurred. The truth of what happened between Marcus and Sinead makes for some gut-wrenching reading. Maggie O'Farrell once again shows her prowess with the pen, creating characters we feel we know intimately. This fascinating look at relationships past and present, and how the two are often intermingled is well worth your time to read. Did I love this novel as much as her first?....no, but that would be asking for a near impossibility. 4.5 stars.