Only About Love by Debbi Voisey

This is the first of two books publishing today in the Fairlight Moderns collection published by Fairlight Books. Fairlight Moderns are a collection of Novellas and short literary fiction. If you pop over to their website you will find all the books in the collection and as they’re recommended as ideal for book clubs, you’ll find reading notes with discussion prompts for each book. In fact there’s all sorts on the website including a wonderful sounding book written by the founder of Fairlight publishing called Bookshop Tours of Britain by Louise Boland which I’m very tempted to put on my Christmas wish list.

Anyway on to the reviews. I have two reviews today, the second review for Missing Words by Loree Westron will be in a separate post around lunch time.

About the book

There’s no such thing as a perfect family. A perfect life. A perfect man.

Frank is proof of this. He’s everyman and yet as unique as a fingerprint. With a wonderful wife and children who are the loves of his life, he couldn’t ask for anything more. But time and time again he keeps risking it all.

In snapshots through time, Only About Love takes a sweeping loop around Frank’s life as he navigates courtship, marriage, fatherhood and illness. Told through the perspectives of Frank and his family, this story is one of intense honesty about the things we do to those closest to us.

What I thought

This may be a Novella and so quite short, and yet so much is conveyed in this heartfelt story of one man – Frank, his life, his family, his love for his family and in the early days after his diagnosis, the fear of his illness.

The book has very short chapters, some perhaps only a couple of pages long, and yet each one holds a message.  Sometimes told from the point of view of his children Dawn and John, others his wife Liz and often Frank himself.

It tells Frank’s story, from his early years, cruelly treated by his Father to when he met Liz, his life long wife. Yet as much as Frank loved his wife and his family, he just couldn’t help his philandering ways, often putting all that he loved and cherished so much at risk.

It’s a brilliant book but incredibly sad towards the end as his illness takes a hold on everything that Frank ever was. His demise as described by his children – mainly his daughter is heartbreaking to read.  It’s wonderfully written, with great sensitivity, but at the same time highlights the wretchedness of such a cruel disease that robs families of their loved ones long before they pass away.  

A short book, but nevertheless profound in its observation of love in its many forms and whilst ultimately very sad, it did have a lighter side in places with humour and fondness.  I loved it and highly recommend this book for its honesty and insight – the title says it all.

♥ Happy Reading ♥

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thank you to Fairlight Books via Netgalley for an advance review copy of the book

The book is published today and is available in e-format and paperback. You can find it on Amazon and all independent book shops as well as Waterstone’s and Blackwell’s

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