Being Someone by Adrian Harvey

Review published on March 1, 2017.

This novel starts by telling a tale about a mahout in India and his loyal friendship with his elephant. Then it flicks to James, in London, whose story is about to unfold. His career appears to be going nowhere and he has no one to share his life with until Lainey, a beautiful and self-assured American lawyer, comes along. They fall instantly in love. But is this his happily ever after? Is life as simple and complete as that? Among the twists and turns of London life, temptations arise and small mistakes have devastating consequences for all concerned. The turning point comes more or less in the middle of the book. A chapter of two pages where everything shifts and changes for the couple. This is a debut novel and it is a stunning one. It is refreshing to read about relationships from a man’s point of view. The flaws and doubts, love and loss are well versed and give the reader a bird’s eye view of their relationship. At times painful, the reader is drawn into their story. Lainey is very much a background character, one who we never really truly get to ‘know’, but the same could be said of James. I was on the fence about whether I liked him or not. Even though he seemed intelligent, he was also, at times, horribly shallow and selfish. The story is beautifully described, we are transported to the streets of India with its vivid colours, sights and sounds and back to London and New York, where our characters’ city lives are painted for us. The significance of the first chapter with the elephant falls into place towards the end. Well written, sad and pleasingly poignant, this is no ordinary love story. It leaves an ache deep within. I really enjoyed this book and will certainly be happy to read more from this author. Just brilliant. Highly recommended.

Kirsty MacKenzie 5/-

Being Someone by Adrian Harvey
Urbane Publications Limited 9781909273092 pbk May 2014

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