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Book Review| Another Life by Jodie Chapman

Another Life by Jodie Chapman’s been lingering on my kindle for years, bought on a whim like so many others and then forgotten about.

I’ve clearly been in the mood for slow-burn romance books over the past few weeks, there’s been a bit of a theme hence why Another Life ended its stay in Kindle purgatory.

She could be the girl dancing on tables one night, and the next she’d be hiding in the shadows.

Just when I thought I understood her, she would melt away and become a completely new person, and I’d have to start all over again.

That’s how it was with Anna.

Nick and Anna meet while working at the cinema during the summer.

Anna is mysterious, beautiful and from a completely different world to Nick. She’s been raised in a strict religious community – the name of which is never revealed. She’s been told from childhood that the world will end but she and her community will be given eternal life.

Getting drunk and sex before marriage are absolutely off limits but Anna is a teenager and is finding her own way in the world. She’s pushing boundaries and experimenting.

When she meets Nick, they fall in love – to be honest I’m not entirely sure how, it felt as though they just kind of drifted together – and have a secret relationship, Anna is terrified of her family finding out the truth.

As the summer draws to a close, Anna, scared to give up everything she’s ever known, walks away and Nick lets her.

Told through Nick’s perspective, this book spans 20 years of Nick and Anna’s relationship and their lives as they grow up, never quite managing to forget about the other.

Cards on the table; I liked this book I didn’t love it.

My main problem was Nick and Anna. I didn’t connect with them; I wasn’t in the slightest bit fussed by them or their romance.

Nick’s had his fair share of trauma growing up. The opening chapter sees him dealing with another. He spends a lot of time in his own head, drifting aimlessly through life. He doesn’t really have dreams or ambitions, he’s completely incapable of speaking up or fighting for what he wants. It’s frustrating to read about.

I didn’t care about Nick and Anna. They frustrated the shit out of me, and it got to the point where I couldn’t have cared less whether or not they got together and for me, when reading a love story, I kind of need to be rooting for them and her, I wasn’t.

It started to feel like a bit of a slog as they pranced around each other and pined after each other for years and years. They could have saved themselves (and me for that matter) a lot of time if they’d have just stopped fannying about.

They never really at any point completely leave each other’s lives. They see each other around, bump into each other, they aren’t friends, but the blurb makes it sound as though Anna disappears, which isn’t the case.

It is a really well-written book. It looks at dysfunctional families and the long-lasting impact that has. It’s an interesting look at loss and grief, I liked the themes explored around boundaries, sacrifice and religion.

There were plot twists I absolutely did not see coming, one in particular made me gasp. I just wasn’t invested enough in this love story – maybe I’d reached my fill of slow burn love stories spanning decades – but that lack of investment became more of a problem the longer this book went on.

radiosarahc View All

Journalist, writer, traveller, music lover, collector of hats, news addict, bookworm

6 thoughts on “Book Review| Another Life by Jodie Chapman Leave a comment

  1. I haven’t heard of this book before, but the plot does make it seem interesting. However, since you couldn’t connect to Nick and Anna and you didn’t care about how their relationship ended up, I think I’ll pass because I would much rather read a book where you are rooting for the couple.


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