After Mrs Hamilton

After Mrs Hamilton - Clare  Ashton Note: This book is best enjoyed without spoilers. I did not mention any but my review might hint at them. So, read at your own risk :-)

What a small, more like, what a teeny tiny world. You go out into the world, play the field, etc etc. and after a decade or two of fruitless search, frustration and heartbreak, you finally find the love of your life up in ....(beep...sorry no spoilers)

That is the premise of this book. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I love almost everything about the book... the beautiful prose, the wonderful character insights, the plot developments, the character interactions, and of course, the sizzling sex.

My only beef with the book is it requires a major suspension of disbelief. There was just one coincidence too many, making the whole plot seem too contrived. Maybe if it were just one couple, but both couples? (Perhaps if the author had written two separate books instead of constantly switching between the two couples... Both of the relationships are so complicated and minefield-ridden, I think the author could have explored them in more detail (eg. Fran & Clo's attraction, Amelia's feelings toward Clo's job, etc). At the very least, it would have been much easier for me to keep track of the mothers, fathers and assorted relatives and their respective shenanigans! 8-))

The resulting angst and drama was delicious though, so I had to shut down that logical part of my brain and just enjoy the story. Halfway through the book, I was already dreading Laura's predicament. And I'm glad the author did not shirk from taking that part of the story to where it needed to go.

I'd have preferred Laura/Susan to have a proper ending to their love story but the fact that the author left it dangling may actually be more practical...or is it a cop out so she lets the reader decide what happens next...? ;-) (Aug-2014 edit: Thinking back on the non-ending on this storyline, personally I believe the author intended for Laura/Susan to chose to continue their relationship--simply by omission.)

P.S. I wonder if the author has the recipes to the wonderful pastries in the book, or knows where to buy them in case I get a chance to visit London someday. :)