Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: Graeme Simson

By Lynn Willoughby

The Best of Adam Sharp ~ Graeme Simson

When I saw the author of “The Rosie Effect” had published a new novel I couldn’t wait to start reading.  But while this author’s first two books were a joy to read, this one was not.
Adam is almost fifty, has been with his partner Claire for over twenty years, is comfortable with his work and playing the piano at the pub a few times a week.  Then, out of the blue he receives an email from Angelina.  She is Australian, and is his first love – who he has never quite gotten over.  What does she want more than twenty years after their fiery affair?
So, Adam travels to France at Angelina’s invitation, to spend a week with her and her husband Charlie.  Bizarre???  I thought so.
At their first meeting when Angelina picks Adam up at the train station, their mutual passion rears its ugly head.  And at the farmhouse Adam finds himself in the midst of the complicated relationship between Charlie and Angelina; their marriage problems, the pedestal Charlie has erected for Angelina, the gourmet meals, the boozy nights, the downright lazy Angelina.  I just could not connect with any of the characters.  What did anyone expect of this situation?  I kept hoping there would be a twist, so I continued reading.
The role music plays for this trio was the only real connection.  Each challenges the others to sing or play specific songs or lyrics to make a statement.  And instead of talking, there is always the music.  (There is even a playlist at the back of the book.).  I often found myself going to Google to get the lyrics, but after awhile I just didn’t care anymore.
This is just a run of the mill story of a middle aged man committing adultery – with a lot of musical references and no humour.  It reads …”like a creepy middle aged man’s poorly written fantasy.”
  • The Rosie Project
  • The Rosie Effect

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