Firstly, big thank you’s to the wonderful Adrian Harvey and the equally brilliant Matthew Smith from Urbane Publications once again for providing such a wonderful book. I have a lot of books to review and sometimes a feeling of monotony begins to rear its ugly head; it’s not that the books are the same, or I don’t enjoy them but I don’t always get the chance to reflect, and in some books how you are supposed to feel is given to the reader, as like a present. This is definitely not the case here; I was a bundle of emotions, pain, hatred, confusion, loss, and overall a feeling of retribution but also of forgiveness. It was a lot of fun reading this book, and although throughout I wasn’t completely sure where the book was leading I was very happy in the safe hands of the author to bumble along this journey of love, hurt, break-up’s, mistakes and hope for the future. Without further delay onto the review!
“I’d always known. From the first time she had looked into my eyes with possibility rather than containment, with a smile, with vulnerability, I’d known that there would be hurt.” Our lives are a tale to be told, but how often do we fear the story in its telling? James has fallen through life, plotting a course of least resistance, taking each day as it comes and waiting for that indefinable ‘something’ to turn up, to give his story meaning. His journey lacks one vital element – a fellow traveller, a heart’s desire – a purpose. Then he meets Lainey. Confident. Beautiful. Captivating. And James rewrites himself to win her heart. Lainey gives James a reason to grow, paints a bright future, promises the happy ending he has sought so keenly. But when we discover we can live the greatest story of all, are we able to share the pages with someone else? Being Someone is an emotive tale of love, of self-discovery and adventure – a story of the eternal search for happiness in another, without ultimately losing ourselves.
The relationship between an elephant and his mahout is an incredibly delicate but beautiful relationship; an unconditional sense of devotion. Although there is a sense of tranquil mutual respect and calm, not all is as it seems. The book opens with the story of Iravatha, raised from a baby calf; he becomes a magnificent elephant worthy of the leader of the Maharajah’s parade, walking along side his mahout, Annayya. However, there is a dreadful accident, as Annayya slips beneath the mighty elephant’s foot and is crushed to death. The pain the elephant feels is one of love and loss, and he carries to death of his most precious friend to his grave. James does not have another to call his own; working in the art world, although not an artist, he hasn’t met that special someone. Until the delightful American Lainey Driscoll, recently working in London captivates him with her natural charm and beauty. The two begin a blistering relationship that calms as their feelings grow stronger and past the physical roots that it once began as. Feeling the pressure from Lainey the two become engaged and elope to the rather clichéd but beautiful Gretna-Green where they are married with only a handful of their closest friends. After a wonderful trip to India where the two continue to love and care for the other, James shows Lainey the sights that he saw and recounts the story of the elephant he was told when last visiting the beautiful country. The two return with a sense of bliss and utter devotion, however, one day, the beauty of the relationship wears off for the easily jaded James and he starts a steamy affair. The book follows the destruction that follows as James continues to deceive the beautiful Lainey. Can their relationship survive? Will James come to his senses and see that Lainey is in fact the only one for him? Or will she find out and leave forever? Read on to find out!
Firstly, the writing is absolutely beautiful; mature and with a deep understanding of how to construct characters, the writing is warm and inviting. James comes across as intelligent and worldly whilst Lainey comes across as bubbly and delicate but with an intelligence and darker, milder side that makes her even easier to warm to. I couldn’t put the book down, as the words seemed to roll from the page and wrap themselves around me as I was consumed into the relationship between Lainey and James. Take for example the delicate description of India, the colours and scents of the bustling city rises defiantly from the page. However Harvey also manages to make the scents of London rise just as loudly and there is a romantic feel about the city that can only really come from someone that has a sincere love of the capital. I said in the introduction that I had no idea where the story was going, however I felt a sense of security and utter calm. It was brilliantly written and with such a sense of understanding that it didn’t matter that I was completely void of where we were going, I just knew that everything would be pulled together and revealed in the end. One tiny difficulty that troubled me once the book was finished is that we suddenly at the last page are spoken to by Lainey and although it is important for the story we have not heard directly from her before and it seemed to allow James to disappear without having to stand up to his actions. Although after further reflection I understand that the author was making a point, at first it really upset me that he seemed to have got away with his actions. However, the book turns a full circle and once I looked at the bigger picture I understood the importance of this move.
Overall, this is a book of discovery of love and mistakes, and how different decisions in life can change the lives of others forever. I fell in love with not only the characters but also how brilliantly the novel was sewn together in which to create an all-consuming novel that sweeps the reader uncontrollably off their feet. Definitely worth a read!