And Then It Happened (Linda Green) pdf, epub, doc

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I’m quite a big fan of Linda Green, I read 10 Reasons Not To Fall In Love a couple of years back and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was such a wonderful read that, despite its title, it really made you believe in love again. I then read the book she released last year called Things I Wish I’d Known. It didn’t blow me away as much as 10 Reasons Not To Fall In Love, but I did still enioy it. So I was inordinately pleased to know Linda would be back in 2011 with a new book and I liked how mysterious the synopsis sounded for And Then It Happened. I’m not a big fan of the cover – at least I wasn’t – but the more I look at it, the more it grows on me; it’s actually quite nice with the blue sky, the grey clouds and the people under an umbrella. The spine of the book is red, too, which adds a nice bright splash of colour. It’s a much different novel to her previous three, but in a good way.

And Then It Happened could very well be Linda Green’s break-out novel. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the other two books of hers I’ve read but And Then It Happened is on an entirely different level. I’m loathe to say it’s “grown-up”, as if her other novels were immature or something, but it does have a different feel than her other books. The plot is much more hard-hitting, much more unique than your regular boy-meets-girl fare and anybody who goes around saying Chick Lit is about shoes and shopping and Mr Right will be proven infinitely wrong when they pick up this book as there is nothing of the sort in And Then It Happened. It’s one of the most touching books I think I will ever read; in terms of emotion it’s up there with Marian Keyes and you can just tell that Linda Green poured so much time and effort in to making sure she got everything spot-on with this book.

I am going to tell you what the book is about; I can’t review it otherwise, I can’t keep the mysterious synopsis alive and kicking because otherwise I can’t review it properly. I’m not spoiling the book, not really, but if you want to remain oblivious to what happens, I suggest you stop reading. Like I said, there’s no spoilers, so there’s no need to shout, but I am going to discuss what the “it” is that happens to Mel and Adam. Chick Lit books, it has to be said, rarely veer from happy-ever-afters. When you read a Chick Lit book you expect everything to go swimmingly; you expect that everything come the last page of the novel will be perfect and brilliant and the characters will live long and happy lives together. Green, however, has flipped that coin and she starts out with the happy-ever-after. Adam and Mel have been together almost twenty years, married for 10, with a beautiful girl, perfect house, perfect jobs… Until Adam loses a fight with a dinosaur and ends up in a coma. Mel and Adam’s worlds are turned upside-down and inside-out as Mel has to come to terms with the fact that her husband may forever be in a vegetative state. It’s a brave move from Green to focus on such a subject, make no mistake, to do a happy-ever-after novel in reverse, but it works. Boy, does it work.

Like I say, it’s rare for novels to deal with medical issues like comas and being in a vegetative state but I found it fascinating. It’s easy to have a book that’s all sweetness and light, so it’s nice to, once in a while, have a book come along that makes you wonder what you would do in that situation. Would I be brave enough, like Mel is, to look after someone I loved even in that kind of state? Would I be able to cope the way Mel does? I found it all to be so very readable and it’s a subject and an issue that’s so rarely dealt with and I felt Green managed to write about it perfectly. The emotion was the main thing for me. The way Mel and Adam felt for each other after so long together, to see the perfection come crumbling and to see Mel have to deal with their daughter Maya by herself, without Adam by her side, was heartbreaking. Who knows what the right thing to do is when your husband is lying stuck in a bed constantly for days, weeks, months, on end. Mel’s coping ability and Maya’s constant cheeriness were both admirable and amazing. I loved how Mel’s parents rallied round and how Mel’s best friend Louise and Adam’s best friend Steve rallied round, but what got me most of all was Mel’s constant belief that Adam would be back to being himself one day, her belief was just unshakeable.

And Then It Happened really was a work of art. I was captivated by the story, captivated by Mel and Adam’s love for each other, captivated by the writing. (You could say it was rather captivating…) The book was just really hard for me to put down and I had absolutely no idea how it was all going to pan out; whether Adam and Mel would ever get back to how they were before the accident, whether Adam would recover… There were so many questions and, in the end, we were given a very satisfactory ending. It was rather open-ended, in a way, perhaps paving the way for a sequel? But it was a satisfying ending. I hugely enjoyed the book, it was really nice to read something a bit different and it was made an even more poignant read when I read Linda’s notes at the back of the book and where her inspiration for the book came from. There’s been a lot of thought, and a lot of emotion poured into the novel and that’s evident from the very beginning right the way to the very end. It was a triumph, and I hope Linda will continue to tackle a more lesser-used plot in her next book!

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