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Love Will Tear Us Apart Reader Reviews

Love Will Tear Us Apart

Emma Barton

A wonderful novel that delves deeply into the different relationships we form throughout our lives, and explores the different versions of 'family' we can truly achieve.

The synopsis I read about this book did not do it justice at all. I was expecting a simplistic novel full of cliches and a predictive story line. However, this is an amazing book which I devoured as quickly as I could. Kate and Paul are childhood friends who (as the book's summary outlines) make a pact to marry each other if they are still single when they are 30. Their story is told through different eras, and moves easily between them all without losing the reader. Kate comes from a financially wealthy family but has absent parents, whereas Paul has loving parents but their dysfunctional marriage impacts on him.
The novel is funny, engaging and deeply sad at times, with fully formed characters and an ending I could not guess. I will be reading Holly Seddon's earlier novels as a matter of urgency after being lucky enough to be introduced to her through this wonderful book.

Pauline Braisher

This is a lovely story which will make great holiday reading. It's well-written and draws the reader in, so you really care what happens to the main characters.

What's the secret that Kate is carrying around in her pocket? All will be revealed but not until the end of the book. It's a tale of love, friendship and family and how families are more than shared blood. The author explores the relationships between Kate and her family and brings home to the reader how childhood shapes adults and can even have repercussions much further down the family tree. The narrative moves seamlessly between past and present describing how Kate and Paul have arrived at the current point in their shared history. Unlike many authors who use this device, Holly Seddon does not confuse the reader and the story is told clearly and concisely by Kate although it would have been interesting to hear Paul's point of view. This is a lovely story which will make great holiday reading and I would highly recommend it.

Julie Watkin

This is a carefully written book which allows you to connect with the characters and keeps you guessing until the end. It explores what love really means.

I felt like I could really relate to this book. Not in the way that the subject of the story is going through some unsettling times! But the fact that her life was constantly referenced to childhood and adolescent times when I could say, yes, I remember that film, that book, that song! It really connected me to the story and when Kate is fearful about the week ahead I felt gripped to know her story and the impending outcome. I felt all of the characters in the story were carefully constructed and I grew to care for them as the story unfolded. Kate and Paul are both vividly described and honestly portrayed with their faults included. Definitely worth a read, very emotional.

Dana Captainino

As the Cornwall holiday progresses only the children seem happy and content while the tensions between Katie and Paul become increasingly spiked and uncomfortable. Can you really marry your best friend?

There is a trend at the moment for novels to keep moving between different times in the history of the protagonists and Love Will Tear Us Apart makes pertinent use of this.

Married couple Paul and Katie have been friends forever and are now on holiday in Cornwall on the eve of their tenth wedding anniversary in November 2012. Told from the point of view of Katie we can feel her nervousness as the day approaches but we don't know why.

Telling their story and moving between the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s the strength of their relationship and friendship shines through the ups and downs they face. Katie's dysfunctional wealthy childhood dominated by the death of her mother and absent father is boosted by the warmth and acceptance she receives from Paul's more down-to-earth family.

But this is still a story of a relationship in crisis - something is wrong. Holly Seddon throws us lots of red herrings along the way as we try to guess what is amiss. As the Cornwall holiday progresses only the children seem happy and content while the tensions between Katie and Paul become increasingly spiked and uncomfortable. Can you really marry your best friend?

A good read with an interesting twist.

Doreen McKeown

A story of a lifelong relationship threatened by a secret from the past.

This is the story of the relationship between Kate and Paul, close friends since childhood, although from very different backgrounds. The story is told via different time frames alternating between their journey into adulthood and beyond, and the present day when they are celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary, but there is a secret looming in the background, which appears to threaten their future. Disaster strikes unexpectedly and the secret is revealed in a way I didn’t expect. It’s a very readable book, with the secret tantalizing the reader to read on, but I found its reveal an anticlimax that I had to wait too long for. I enjoyed it, although maybe not my favourite Holly Seddon book.

Nicola Kingswell

The story of the lives of Paul and Kate and the love, lies and ties that bind.

Paul and Kate meet as children growing up in the same sleepy Somerset village. They have totally different home lives. Kate lives in a mansion with parent who live separate lives and barely acknowledge her existence. Paul lives in an ordinary semi-detached with his mum Viv, a nurse, and his dad, Mick, a bit of a jack the lad. After Kate's mum dies, she spends more and more time with Paul and his family, becoming part of the fixtures. Paul and Kate grow up together, sharing experiences, stories and adventures. They drift apart after University, when Kate moves to London and pursues a career in advertising. Kate eventually secures Paul a job at her firm, and he moves into her flat as her lodger. As Paul's career takes off, Kate's unravels leaving her in a bad place.
The story starts in the run up to Kate and Paul's ten year wedding anniversary, on a Cornish holiday with their two children. Their history is told in flashback, to when they were children, teenagers and later as young working adults. Paul is hiding a secret from Kate, which she has uncovered and plans to confront him with at their anniversary meal, but things don't go quite as expected.
This was a really interesting read. The characters were engaging and the story flowed well, with each jump in time prefaced with a date, making it easy to follow. I was expecting a much bigger twist or secret to be revealed as it felt as the whole book was building up to some great bombshell. However, it was still an enjoyable read.

Catherine Hogwood

A book highlighting loss, the need for love and how sometimes just having your best friend is enough.

This book was captivating from the first chapter. It features Kate, the daughter of a family who are disjointed and don’t know how to be a family unit. She befriends Paul, a boy who has loving parents who are willing to open their lives up to include Kate.

I love how this book tells both the present day as a story but also Kate’s past as she grows up. I read this book so quickly as I wanted to know the ending but I loved seeing how Kate and Pauls lives intertwined. All the characters were fleshed out really well and each character had secrets that may or may not have been revealed along the way.

I did not envisage the ending as it was written (I anticipated a bigger twist to the mystery) but I think it added a different dimension to the story. Kate began as an empty child, Paul and his family filled that gap and in the end their lives shaped around each other.

A well written book that touches on loss, the need for love and how sometimes just having your best friend is enough.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a non-typical romance novel!

Katie Levers

An un-put-downable read about friendship, love and honesty. The revelations throughout the book keep you enraptured and engrossed in the complexities in the lives of the characters.

The story of childhood friendships that evoke memories of growing up during the  80's & 90's - the innocence of childhood and adolescence that then leads into the turmoil of adulthood; new experiences, jobs, new friendships and love. Holly Seddon's writing enables you to clearly imagine life with the characters and all that they endure. Paul, Kate, Viv and Mike and their lives in a small Somerset village is so realistic  they could be based on any family, living in similar circumstances, during the 1980's and 90's. The childhood friendship of Paul and Kate reminded me so much of my own summers eating chips from greasy paper with friends and making up adventures to keep us amused. 

The revelations throughout the book keep you enraptured and engrossed in the complexities in the lives of the characters. The lifestyle of Kate's mum (which wasn't all it seemed)her silent and reclusive father (who perhaps suffered loss and lost opportunities the most), the unconditional love of Vic and Mike for Kate (and each other).

Having read Holly Seddons other books, it was a book I was keen to read. Her use of language draws the reading in, allowing them to experience the characters, the complexities of their relationships and lifestyles. You know there is always something 'unsaid' which will lead to an unexpected revelation in the final chapters. 


Book Information

ISBN: 9781786490520
Publication date: 7th June 2018
Author: Holly Seddon
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 352 pages
Genres: Books of the Month, eBook Favourites, Exclusive Pre-Publication, Family Drama, Relationship Stories, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Romance, Thriller / suspense,