Within You, Without You
By Sara O’Donovan
Thanks to Valley Press and Random T. Tours I have a review on a book reminiscent of the film Sliding Doors. So, slide down to discover the blurb and the review of this well constructed debut novel.
Kathryn Johnson’s life is at a standstill. Stuck in a lacklustre marriage, the spark that once burned so brightly within her has since been snuffed out by the monotony of the everyday.
Returning to England after many years of living in Ireland, she is shocked to discover a familiar face on the side of the road one dark and stormy night. But a person can’t just reappear like that. Not when they’ve been dead for twenty years.
Uncovering long-buried memories of first love and its devastating loss, Kathryn returns to the past to see if she can rewrite her present. But love divided by time is a complicated equation to solve.
There’s a dreamy beginning as you enter Kathryn’s life in the prologue and then a startling revelation that is sure to reawaken your senses with a jolt, before slipping into the first chapter to see more of her life as it pierces with grief before swinging you into 1992 and there’s Ed and his love of horses and the racing fixtures. There’s also the life, culture and music of Liverpool, the 90’s films like Top Gun and Ed and Kat’s love blossoming. The party and drugs scenes, however are also in full flow. In fact, The Beatles had a song called Within You, Without You. It is worth a listen to, perhaps after reading this book. It interestingly does in some respects marry up to the book. I don’t know if this is what the author had in mind or the film Sliding Doors, or both, but this works pretty well.
It is an intense read, but quite compelling as you see her life in the past and present. It is quite sliding doors in a sense. This is what makes it compelling as you really need to get to the end to work it all out and what truly happened and also to find if and how lives work out. Investing time and required concentration in their lives certainly is worth it as you go through all the twists and turns and pangs of nostalgia throughout.