Almost Love by Louise O'Neill
Published by Riverrun
1st March 2018
When Sarah falls for Matthew, she falls hard.
So it doesn't matter that he's twenty years older. That he sees her only in secret. That, slowly but surely, she's sacrificing everything else in her life to be with him.
Sarah's friends are worried. Her father can't understand how she could allow herself to be used like this. And she's on the verge of losing her job.
But Sarah can't help it. She is addicted to being desired by Matthew.
And love is supposed to hurt.
So this is the story of Sarah, her current love Oisin and her former lover Matthew. The book weaves back and forth to the heady first days of meeting Matthew at the parent's evening where she is his son's art teacher, to the start of their in-clandestine relationship, it's demise and of her current situation with Oisin. I don't know if anyone reading this could actually like Sarah, but maybe that is the point. You want to slap or shake her into waking up, into seeing that her relationship isn't what she believes it to be, to take a look around and see the damage that it is doing not only to herself but to those around her too. Only she doesn't and as a reader I could feel myself getting increasingly frustrated with her as the book progresses.
Matthew does not love Sarah, let's make that perfectly clear. He wants sex and gets off on the thrill of meeting her in a hotel room for an hour or so to get his fill as it were. Sarah spends her life looking down at her phone waiting for just a text from him whereby she will instantly drop everything and everyone in the process to be by his side. Her friendships start to fall apart because of the choices that she is making and the only person who cannot see that damage that is being done is Sarah.
Fast forward to the present day and Sarah is in a loving relationship with Oisin, living in his parent's house. His mother is a very successful artist and Sarah wants for nothing. However, in this situation money doesn't buy you happiness and Sarah is constantly thinking back to her time with Matthew to the detriment of her relationship with Oisin, because no matter what he does or doesn't do, he isn't and never will treat her in the way that Matthew did.
This is an interesting take on the way that a relationship can take over your whole being and Louise O'Neill does just that in Almost Love though it doesn't necessarily make for pleasant reading at times.
Miss Chapters x