About the Book
Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon – she’s a single, thirty-one year old translator who works from home in her one bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a very long time ago, when she was fifteen years old and tragedy struck her family. Her grief has left her scared of commitment and completely risk averse, so she plays it safe and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.
One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a random passer-by, Ben, luckily happens to spot and rescue her. Suddenly her cocoon is shattered – what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?
I was thrilled to be offered a copy of This Love to read and review as I very much enjoyed one of Dani Atkins earlier novels, Fractured so was very keen to read this latest book.
I loved This Love, I read it in two sittings and in the time I wasn’t reading I kept thinking about Sophie and Ben and wondering what was going to happen.
The opening chapters of this book when the fire encroaches on the flat below Sophie had me holding my breath – even though I knew the book was about Sophie, and therefore knew she would likely survive the fire, I was still so tense wondering how she was going to get out. I love when I get so engrossed in what is happening on the page I’m reading that it makes me forget what I knew about the book beforehand.
Ben is such a lovely man and you could see how much he wanted to be there for Sophie in a very genuine and gentlemanly way. Sophie really got to me though, I could identify with her – I totally understood how she had become the way she was because of what had happened to her family when she was younger. It would be easy to say that she should have dealt with it before but life isn’t always that easy, people can become trapped in their emotional pain especially if they don’t have the right support when they need it.
There are elements in this book that I saw coming, but I think Sophie would have also seen them coming if she hadn’t have been so trapped in her emotional pain. There were other things that completely shocked me but as the story was gradually revealed it made sense that this was the case and so was always believable.
I got so completely and utterly lost in the relationship between Sophie and Ben – the way they slowly become friends and Sophie begins to let her guard down and deal with the pain she’d been holding on to since she was a teenager. It felt like Ben was some kind of guardian angel, who came into her life to help her heal. I loved how he helped her re-discover who she was and therefore helped her to help herself to fix her life rather than him just being a knight in shining armour. It was wonderful to see Sophie growing in strength once she had Ben’s support and encouragement to start doing things she had avoided for so long.
The ending of this book had me sobbing, and that rarely happens to me when I’m reading. It was such a beautiful, and very moving, way to end the novel, and whilst it made me cry it also left me with such a real sense of hope.
This Love is one of those books that grabs you from the very first page and doesn’t let go until long after you’ve turned the last page. This is a novel that will stay with me for a very long time to come.
This Love is out now and available here.
I received a copy of this book from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Dani was born and brought up in Cockfosters- a small London suburb at the end of the Piccadilly Tube Line.
This served her well for commuting into the city, where from the age of 18 she worked in a succession of secretarial positions in companies as diverse as a BMW car dealership to the BBC. Dani spent her two hour commute avidly reading and dreamed that one day she would become an author herself.
When her two children grew up and left home, Dani set about turning this dream into reality and devoted her time to writing. She now lives in a rural Hertfordshire cottage with her husband, a soppy border collie dog and a haughty Siamese cat.
Her first novels FRACTURED (called THEN AND ALWAYS in the US) and THE STORY OF US published in 2014. In January 2016, her third novel, OUR SONG was published.
(Bio taken from author’s Goodreads page: Dani Atkins