Title: Another Life
Author: Jodie Chapman
Pages: 352 Pages
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 work the same summer job at their local cinema. Anna is mysterious, beautiful, and from a very different world to Nick.
She’s grown up preparing for the end of days, in a tightly-controlled existence where Christmas, getting drunk and sex before marriage are all off-limits.
So when Nick comes into her life, Anna falls passionately in love. Their shared world burns with poetry and music, cigarettes and conversation – hints of the people they hope to become.
But Anna, on the cusp of adulthood, is afraid to give up everything she’s ever believed in, and everyone she’s ever loved. She walks away, and Nick doesn’t stop her.
Years later, a tragedy draws Anna back into Nick’s life.
But rekindling their relationship leaves Anna and Nick facing a terrible choice between a love that’s endured decades, and the promises they’ve made to others along the way.
I’m always worried when a book is described as “the new” whatever. The links to previously loved stories inevitably leave a person disappointed. In this sense I feel sorry for Jodie Chapman because her book was described as “the new One Day” which kind of give it unfair expectations to live up to. One day was such a well loved and well known book that it is an impossible standard to reach.
So for that reason I am going to try my hardest to judge Another Life without past book interference. Another Life is pretty good. It follows the relationship between Anna and Nick who’s on-again-off-again romance seems to transcend the years and through external interference and equally their own flaws they can never seem to get it together to make it work. You bounce from side to side thinking that these two need to be together to why they heck are these two trying to be together. You can see that they are good and bad for each other in equal measure.
Whilst Another Life focuses on the relationship between the two characters, it really is Nick’s story. We watch as he grows from boy to man and tries his hardest to be what society expects of him even if it comes at a cost to his personal happiness. Chapman looks at his relationship with women, with his parents – in particular his father, fraternal relationships and many others. This was in interesting choice by Chapman who could have easily written from a female perspective and Another Life would have been a completely different story. It was a bold choice that paid off.
Another Life by Jodie Chapman is available now.
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