The Gravity of Love by Noelle Harrison Black and White Publishing May 24th 2018
Joy Sheldon loves the plants that bloom in the desert but dreams too of the sea’s elemental wildness. Now, riven by terrible secrets, Joy embarks on a journey to seek her identity and to discover why the sea pulls at her heart.
Lewis Bell, a young graphic designer, is aiming for the big time if only he can keep his creative spark. But, as his talented girlfriend Marnie adds her own pressures, sixties Soho fast shows its darker side.
Drawn together, Joy and Lewis fly across the Atlantic to the Irish coast. She’s in search of a lost mother; he’s looking for a lost love. They need to make peace with the past, themselves and others. But the truths they encounter will transform everyone’s lives forever.
Bold, intimate and joyful. This glorious novel tells an unforgettable story of love’s true gravity.
What’s not to love about a book cover featuring a beautiful green coat and a hummingbird broach and how intriguing to wonder just what the significance of the two could be, I thought as I opened the first pages of The Gravity Of Love.
Straightaway I was introduced to the two main characters, Joy and Lewis, and soon swept away in their stories of discovery. Lewis sought his long lost love, the love of his life, and Joy the mother she never knew about, who seemingly handed her over for adoption many years ago.
What I found amazing was that they could live in such a small Arizona desert town but not know each other until a sequence of events threw them together and I could instantly sense some chemistry between them. Where would it take them, what consequences would it have for them and their families?
I immediately liked Joy, a woman who knew no other life than being married and raising her children, who wondered what was next when those children flew the nest and all that was left was you and your husband. I felt Harrison really got to the very heart of Joy, her grief for her father so eloquently described and her turmoil as she questioned who she was, if her marriage was as happy as she thought it was and what her future held.
Lewis on the other hand was likeable but as Harrison delved into his past, you had to question his attitude towards women, his egocentric behaviour, his need to succeed at the cost of the one person he loved. As Harrison delved even deeper his unhappy childhood, and the loss of his sister perhaps explained some of his behaviour and drove him to do what he did, and yes, you felt sorry for him but there was always just a little bit of frustration and annoyance as you read. This was in no way a bad thing, in fact, it made me feel somehow more connected to the story and his character.
It was Harrison’s continual thoughts on the role of women both in the work place and in marriage that made this novel more than a simple love story. As she took us back to sixties London and then to 1989 you had to wonder how much had actually changed, and how hard it was for women to achieve in business or breakaway from the traditional role of housewife. I found myself urging Joy onwards, to break free, to realise her potential and be who she wanted to be.
As a lovestory, Gravity of Love ticked all the boxes. It brilliantly portrayed Joy and Eddies’ teenage love, and the all consuming passion of Lewis and Marnie, as they hid their relationship from those around them. I loved the poignancy and emotion of Joy and Lewis’s relationship, the respect they had for each other but also the bewilderment they both felt at new emotions, feelings and the rights and wrongs of what they were doing
Their flight to Ireland and subsequent discoveries never felt contrived and indeed the final revelation is one that took me totally by surprise. It also left me wanting more, I wanted to know what was to become of Joy and Lewis, of the people they met on their journey and what the future held for them.
I f you want a poignant novel of love, self discovery and beautiful settings then The Gravity of Love is for you, I loved it.
Thank you to Lina Langlee and Black and White Publishing for a copy of the novel to read and review and for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Born in London, I moved to Ireland in 1991, shortly afterwards setting up the theatre company Aurora. I have written four stage plays, Northern Landscapes, Black Virgin, Runaway Wife and The Good Sister, and one short film, Blue Void. I have also written extensively on visual art in Ireland, contributing to various journals and artists’ catalogues over the years.
In August 2004 my first novel Beatrice was published by Tivoli/ Pan Macmillan. My second novel, A Small Part Of Me, was published by Tivoli / Pan Macmillan in September 2005. My third novel I Remember was published by Pan Macmillan in September 2008. The Adulteress was published by Pan Macmillan in September 2009, and The Secret Loves of Julia Caesar, an illustrated limited edition novella was published in 2012.
Having lived in Bergen in Norway for several years, in September 2012 Beatrice was published by Juritzen Forlag in Norwegian. My Noelle Harrison novels have also been translated and published in Italy, Germany, Holland, and Hungary.
I am also published under the pen name Evie Blake and my Valentina Trilogy has been published in over 13 countries worldwide.
In 2014 I was one of 56 Irish Writers included in the anthology and exhibition Lines of Vision Irish Writers on Art at the National Gallery of Ireland, and published by Thames & Hudson.
I currently live in Edinburgh in Scotland, and I am one of the founders of Aurora Writers’ Retreats .
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