Sunday, 3 May 2015

The Alone Alternative - Linda MacDonald - 5* review

Former classmates Edward and Marianne, now fifty-five, have experienced a turbulent few years having lost contact with each other and suffered painful disruption to their home lives. Reunited again, this time through Twitter, they set about a search for personal fulfillment, but once again there are obstacles in the way – not least in the form of twice-widowed Jessica, Edward’s neighbour, who threatens to destroy their pursuit of happiness and whose behaviour has alarming consequences. 

The extraordinary weather conditions prompt Edward and a former colleague to resurrect an idea for a documentary series that sets to challenge consumerist lifestyles. The Isles of Scilly become a model for sustainability and a filming trip to the islands provides an idyllic backdrop to the unfolding romantic tensions. 

Set in 2012, the year of the London Olympics, the action alternates between Broadclyst and Beckenham and examines the difficult issues faced in committing to a new relationship in midlife. Could being alone be a preferable alternative? 

Continuing themes of psychology, relationships and environmental sustainability, The Alone Alternative is the sequel to A Meeting of a Different Kind and the third and final part of the 'Lydia' series. Written from both male and female perspectives, it also stands alone as a fascinating read for both men and women who enjoy thought-provoking fiction, keeping readers guessing until the very end.

Having read Meeting Lydia and A Meeting of a Different Kind I was eagerly anticipating The Alone Alternative, desperate to see how Marianne and Edward's story ended. I was thrilled when the author asked me to review it and was not disappointed.

Edward and Marianne have not been in contact for five years after the turn of events in A Meeting of a Different kind, and now are without the partners who kept them apart in the past for different reasons. 

Edward longs to contact Marianne once again but life, fears and insecurities get in the way for both of them with their busy careers, grown up children and for Edward, neighbour and friend of his estranged wife, Felicity, all clamouring for attention. They do however become friends once again, but with so many obstacles in their way will they be able to spend their lives together?

I love this series of books, to me they are 'grown up books', intelligently written with a keen psychological element, about a middle aged couple and the tribulations that that time of life can bring. I love the sub plot about sustainability and the vivid descriptions of the beautiful Isles of Scilly.

I really enjoyed the gentle romance and the way you feel drawn so close to the characters and really care what happens. It ended perfectly for me!

I would definitely recommend these books which can be read together or as stand alone books, it would not take long to catch up with the plot, and for a limited time all Linda's books are on sale for £1.99 (as of 03/05/15)

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