Wednesday 31 March 2021

Another Life by Jodie Chapman | Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received a proof copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Another Life by Jodie Chapman - 5/5
"Nick and Anna work the same summer job at their local cinema. Anna is mysterious, beautiful, and from a very different world to Nick.

She's grown up preparing for the end of days, in a tightly-controlled existence where Christmas, getting drunk and sex before marriage are all off-limits.

So when Nick comes into her life, Anna falls passionately in love. Their shared world burns with poetry and music, cigarettes and conversation - hints of the people they hope to become.

But Anna, on the cusp of adulthood, is afraid to give up everything she's ever believed in, and everyone she's ever loved. She walks away, and Nick doesn't stop her.

Years later, a tragedy draws Anna back into Nick's life.

But rekindling their relationship leaves Anna and Nick facing a terrible choice between a love that's endured decades, and the promises they've made to others along the way."

My heart hurts. I need to stop reading books that make me cry real tears.

Another Life follows the life of Nick and is told in six parts. Each chapter is from a different time in his life. It isn't linear but is easy to follow along with.

We read about Nick and his childhood with brother Sal and his mum and dad, a summer he spends with Anna in 2003 and his life throughout the years up to 2020.

My heart was already almost broken at the very beginning, before we'd even been introduced to any character properly, and that is how I knew that I was reading a special book. I honestly feel like my words won't do this novel justice.

When Nick meets Anna at work in the summer of 2003, it is obvious that they have something special. It is a proper teenage first love but it can never develop into anything more. Nick is Anna's secret. Anna is devoted to her religion and knows she must marry within her religion. I absolutely loved reading about this. I am not a religious person as all, and to be honest I'd probably be like Nick and questioning it, so it was a really great insight for me. Her religion is never mentioned by name but I did think Jehovah's Witness which is confirmed in the author's note.

After losing touch, their lives continue, each getting into new relationships and getting older but they bump into each other quite a lot during the years. She is the one that got away but it could never be.

I don't want to give too much away because everyone just needs to read it. The development of each character is fantastic and you know them and their personalities inside out. 

Reading about Nick and Sal's mother's death completely broke my heart and how that affected them both, especially Sal, was devastating.

It is raw, it is hopeful, it is outstanding. You won't be able to put this book down.

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