Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Book Review: The Impossible Search for the Perfect Man

By Sara Steven

Imagine for a moment, your husband leaves you. Then through a bizarre twist of events, you find yourself working with the girl he’s left you for – and even worse, she's pregnant... Louisa’s not really up to any more complicated relationships. Right now, she doesn’t need them. She has good friends. Okay, so one has a screwed-up husband and the other a very strange horoscope habit. Not to mention her ex-husband’s new girlfriend, who Louisa has somehow found herself giving relationship counselling to. She doesn’t need anyone else with problems in her life right now. It would be nice, wouldn’t it? To find a straightforward man, who isn’t remotely messed up. Now there’s a thought... But does such a man even exist? She thinks not. But, she resolves, a life of helping other people find their happy-ever-afters is still something. But then handsome vet Marcus walks into her life. And everything changes… Set in the Hampshire countryside against a background of horses and vets, this is a story about friendship and love, and life's way of throwing in the unexpected… (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Having been through my own marriage woes in the past, I could relate with what Louisa goes through and how she feels when she finds out that her husband of several years has decided to leave her. At first, she relies on her job at an equestrian vet clinic to help take her mind off of what’s going on in her personal life, along with the friends she’s made there, soon solidifying a new path for herself that doesn’t involve her ex. I could tell how powerful she felt in not feeling like she needs someone else to rely on for her happiness. Until two things happen: Her ex comes back. And, the new vet Marcus begins his job at the clinic.

The situation with the ex got under my skin, primarily because he left Louisa, proceeded to then start a family with the woman he cheated on Louisa with–and then, he tries to go back to Louisa and despite everything, Louisa considers potentially giving him another chance! Louisa goes to great lengths to explain why, but despite that, I couldn’t support that decision at all. Running concurrently with that is the budding relationship Louisa has with Marcus. Marcus is different from anyone she’s ever known, and at times, it’s obvious that he can be a tough person to read. If Louisa decides to completely let go of her ex, will it be worth it? 

The novel reads as the impossible search for the perfect man, or in this case, the search for someone perfect for Louisa. But I felt like the stronger connections for her were the ones she had with her friends. I really enjoyed the quirky characters who step up to be there for her when she needs them the most, even surprising herself in the process. When there are trying times in life, it’s always great to rely on your support system to get you through, and given Louisa’s family, particularly her mother, it seems her friends are the most reliable and the most helpful.

The synopsis talks about how Louisa pretty much gives relationship advice to her ex and his girlfriend, and I literally laughed out loud because I’ve been there! While Louisa reflects on that, it brought me back to those days. Relationships can be so bizarre at times, sometimes finding ourselves in some really strange situations, and reading about Louisa’s experiences could at times be entertaining, funny, but at other times, disheartening and heartfelt. The Impossible Search for the Perfect Man was an enjoyable read and it was nice to see where Louisa’s path would take her, but through it all, the most enjoyable moments were the ones spent with her friends. 

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Debbie Howells’s first novel, a psychological thriller, The Bones of You was a Sunday Times bestseller for Macmillan. Four more bestsellers followed, including most recently The Vow, published by Avon. Fulfilling her dream of writing women’s fiction, she has found a home with Boldwood and her first title with them, The Life You Left Behind, was published in February 2022.

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1 comment:

penney said...

This sounds good thank you for the review