Title: Reunion of the Heart
Author: Elaine Jeremiah
Genre: Contemporary romance
Date Read: 22/08/2014 – 25/08/2014
I have to say I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, given it’s not a genre I’m normally into (a cursory glance at any of my GoodReads shelves gives you magic, fairies, ghosts, etc). This is Elaine Jeremiah’s second novel, following The Inheritance, which she released around this time last year. The main character, Anna, is a writer dealing with the aftermath of a messy break-up. Her best friend convinces her to attend their high-school reunion, and there she runs into Will, who was one of the two bullies who made her life hell during school. Around the same time, Anna’s writing is taken on by a new agent, Peter, who doesn’t just have eyes for her writing. Anna needs to decide who she wants in her life, before things get too out of control.
I was surprised that so much of the novel was actually taken up by Anna’s relationship with Peter, as Will is the only one mentioned in the blurb. Peter was not overly likeable, so I have to admit that the second I could sense their relationship was on the rocks, I was rooting for it to end. I also thought that the beginning of their relationship could have been a little fleshed out as they essentially became an item “off-screen”.
While Will makes a few appearances in the first two thirds of the novel, it’s not really until the final third where he really becomes a major player. I think probably my favourite scene was one in which he and Anna finally have a conversation about their feelings towards each other. Basically, they were in Paris and it was winter so they were all rugged up and they were having what amounted to a warm, fuzzy [for the reader] conversation and so it ticked all my boxes.
I think Elaine Jermemiah’s writing was strongest when there was real conflict between characters, such as when Anna was calling Peter out on his possessiveness of her, or when she was reminding Will that he had made her life hell during school and she had no desire to see him again. These sections felt very real. Sometimes the characters’ internal conflicts felt a little repetitive, as did Anna’s conversations with Melissa about her love life (though Melissa does eventually point out to Anna that she needs to figure her life out on her own; she can’t keep asking Melissa for advice and blaming her when it goes wrong).
Having now written this review, and getting to the point where I make a concluding remark, it occurs to me that probably half the time I read books outside my usual genres, I tend to say “I enjoyed this more than I thought I would” so maybe I should just accept that I actually enjoy these sorts of stories now and then and look forward to Elaine’s next book, too!