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Review: The Idea of Love

The Idea of Love: A Novel - Patti Callahan Henry

I received a copy from Netgalley.


I don't read hardly any adult contemporary, but the synopsis of this book caught my attention and I figured if it was a movie, I would watch it, so I figured I would give it a chance. I'm glad I did, turns out I quite enjoyed the book. Likeable characters, lovely setting, easy story to get lost in.


Ella and Hunter have a chance meeting and develop something that becomes a friendship that should become something more. Both are struggling with life choices, and both start to tell little white lies that escalate into bigger lies while their relationship and feelings for each other develop. Ella is devastated over her husband leaving her, Hunter is a failed screen writer looking for a the next big thing. Things start out innocently enough but as the two get to know each other, the little white lies start dragging at their consciences.


I loved Ella's character, her tone of voice. Raw with grief and feeling she's struggling to get it together in the wake of a failed marriage to a man she loved very very much, her voice is very honest and at times cutting. Given the circumstances it's easy to understand why. She gets on with her life, while pining a bit. Hunter has a failed relationship of his own, problems with a clingy girlfriend. A screen writer who's last two movies were flops he needs something new and big. I didn't like Hunter as much I liked Ella, but I liked the way their story developed.


Other things happen throughout the novel, Ella makes a wonderful new friend in her apartment complex, and it's sweet to see that side of her. There's obvious drama in the form of Ella's husband and the girl he left her for. And the non truths Ella and Hunter keep telling each other get deeper and made worse by these other little dramas.


The setting of the small town is just lovely. The writing flows well. My only real issue with the story that it is extremely predictable. You know how it's going to end before you've hardly got going. That being said, it was very enjoyable to read, and even though the ending was obvious, I still had a smile on my face when I finished. Definitely an author I would read again.


Thank you to Netgalley and St Martin's Press for approving my request to view the title.