My Throwback Thursday choice for this week is The Other Side, which I enjoyed very much and reviewed in 2014.
Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing.
If you’re looking for something completely different and intriguing, with a unique and quite complex structure, and shot through with humour this could be the book for you. The story is very cleverly told from the present, going backwards over time, from four very diverse perspectives, showing how decisions taken and choices made can affect the outcome and shape the course of the future. And how different that future could be with one single change of direction.
Katya is a very successful business woman with a very large ego and no permanent man in her life. Years ago she and her friend, Maggie, had discussed ‘The Plan’ they devised for their lives. Katya’s didn’t include anyone less successful, less motivated or less monied than herself.
Daniel was a van driver, for goodness sake! He was cute, she had to give Maggie that – okay, he was divine; twenty years ago she’d have put her best cleavage forward and demanded he be washed and brought to her tent. Unfortunately for Daniel, though, she’d reached the stage in her life when knife edge cheekbones and an endearing smile simply weren’t going to cut it, not without the rest of the package to back them up.
Cathy is trapped in a dull and boring marriage, with a controlling husband and his very intrusive family. Then she meets someone from her past.
She would be wrong whatever she did; she was used to that now. Would they have been equally snotty to any woman who’d taken Andy away from them? Probably!
If she’d realised what marrying into the Froud family actually meant, she would have headed for the hills while she still had a chance.
Alexa is living the dream, running a cafe in the picturesque Fort Angus in Scotland. Until Janey arrived.
She was trying to take away her man, and her best friend, and now even her position in her own business, the Loch View Café, that she and Charlie had built up, sweated and slaved over, for the past twelve years.
Sandie has a serious problem with alcohol. Filled with the hopelessness of her life and situation, in a relationship she doesn’t really want, she feels completely lost and superfluous. Then it was crunch time. It was time to stop trying to please everyone else and get her life back.
If ever a throwaway remark acted as a swift kick up the backside, it was that one. Sandie knew that Mirabel hadn’t meant it nastily, but she never wanted to be with any man who put up with her only because he thought he couldn’t do any better. Maybe he can’t, Sandie thought, but I can.
Three weeks later, she had not only a new haircut, but also a full time job in a pub, The Gallery, and a new flat.
The portrayal of the women, the completely contrasting experiences and the realistic lifestyle issues are compellingly written.
Entirely unpredictable, this story is a fascinating journey of supposition. How would a life unfold if particular choices were made differently and how would it impact on other people? Would that life be better? Or worse? And how would that person ever know how things might have turned out if they had grabbed an opportunity when it was offered, or not made that inopportune decision at that precise time. I could never have guessed the very satisfactory conclusion. An extremely entertaining story and one that makes you think.
About the Book
Imagine being able to find out what would happen if you’d chosen the other path…
Would you make the same decision?
…and, if you could, would you go back and change all the mistakes you’ve ever made
in the name of love?
“The Other Side” tells of four lives, all very different.
Four very different stories – but they are all connected.
“The Other Side” travels backwards through time to unravel the decisions of the past and their influence on the present lives of everyone concerned – for better or for worse…