Firstly thank you to Imogen Harris of Legend Press for inviting me to take part on this blog tour for IDEAL LOVE by Alice Burnett
After an argument with her husband Gilles, Venus Rees is left devastated by his sudden death. But when she discovers that he died of a treatable genetic condition she knew nothing about, she is haunted by the thought that he didn’t love her enough to save himself. As time passes, Venus looks set to be trapped between grief and distrust forever. Until she meets the shy, good-looking and seemingly ideal Alex. Intertwining Venus’s compelling attraction to Alex in the present with Gilles’ enraptured pursuit of her in the past, Ideal Love is an intimate and life-affirming novel about love, from its incandescent beginnings to its final breath and back again.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
This beautifully written book had me in pieces when I read it and again when I wrote this review. My mother always told me never go to bed on an argument and Venus must have thought this over and over because now it was too late. What seemed the biggest problems in the world, only the night before, were now petty. Gilles had returned home from work. followed by a little recreation time with a work mate, only minutes before midnight, an early night in comparison to some. Venus blew, threatening to let him stew for a weekend while she went to her mother’s with their two year old daughter Leonie. In the light of day she already regretted not making up with Gilles and left him a message on his phone which he would get when he got off the tube on his way to work the following morning. Gilles didn’t make it. At 35 his life ended without hearing any apology. Venus felt destroyed but worse was to come.
Oh my, Alice Burnett captured every spark of anger, frustration and robotic emotional reaction in Venus. A scene in the hospital is one of the most moving I have read. It is tender and heart breaking, hearing words and knowing what each means but not being able to relate to the whole bizarre circumstances as being possible. Along side this tragic news, is a constant reminder that this happens to everyone. All the information is at hand. The procedures that have to be followed and all the choices available. Just part of the daily routine for the nurse but still done tenderly.
This is about the secrets that Gilles lived with and never shared with Venus. Measures he could have taken. Had he been in denial? Was he scared? Was it her fault? she is angry, sad, loves him, hates him. Unable to ask and learning to survive before she can learn to live again. There could be a chance of love if she can let go of the past. Somethings you can’t understand, they just are. I don’t know how much Venus was really trying to protect Leonie or if Leonie was really a shield for Venus to hide behind but this is unfinished business in her life that she has to find a way to bring contentment to in her mind.
Loved how each chapter was headed with a song title which was relevant to what I was about to read. This book is a tremendous achievement for a debut. It tore at all my emotions way past the last beautiful page.
I wish to thank Legend Press for an ARC of this book which I have honestly reviewed.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alice Burnett grew up on a farm in Devon, England. She studied maths at Cambridge University followed by a degree in philosophy, a subject she is still passionate about. She qualified as a lawyer in the City and worked in London and Paris before leaving law to write full‐time. Ideal Love is her first novel. She is currently working on a second. Alice is 42 and lives in London with her husband and three sons.