#BookReview ~ A Meeting of a Different Kind by @LindaMac1 @matadorbooks #BookBoost

When archaeologist Edward Harvey’s wife Felicity inherits almost a million, she gives up her job, buys a restaurant and, as a devotee of Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, starts turning their home into a small eco-farm. Edward is not happy, not least because she seems to be losing interest in him. Taryn is a borderline manic-depressive, a scheming minx, a seductress and user of men. Edward and Taryn don’t know each other but they both know Marianne. To Edward, Marianne is a former classmate who sends him crazy emails. She is Taryn’s best friend, and when Marianne meets Edward, she tells Taryn how wonderful he is and that he is not the philandering type. Taryn sees a challenge and concocts a devious plan to meet him during a series of lectures he is giving at the British Museum. When Edward and Taryn’s paths cross, questions of friendship, loyalty and betrayal are played out against a backdrop of mental fragility and the destabilising effects of a large inheritance… Set in Broadclyst and Beckenham, with a chapter on the Isles of Scilly, A Meeting of a Different Kind is the stand-alone sequel to Meeting Lydia, continuing the story from the perspectives of two very different characters. Like its prequel, it will appeal to fans of adult fiction, especially those interested in the psychology of relationships.

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Matador (1 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780883250
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780883250

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About the Author

Linda MacDonald is the author of three novels: Meeting Lydia and the stand-alone sequels, A Meeting of a Different Kind and The Alone Alternative. Her fourth novel, The Man in the Needlecord Jacket, is due to be published in 2017, continuing the series, but also standing alone. All Linda’s books are contemporary adult fiction, multi-themed, but with a focus on relationship issues.

After studying psychology at Goldsmiths’, Linda trained as a secondary science and biology teacher. She taught these subjects for several years before moving to a sixth-form college to teach psychology. The first two novels took ten years in writing and publishing, using snatched moments in the evenings, weekends and holidays. In 2012, she gave up teaching to focus fully on writing.

Linda was born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria and now lives in Beckenham in Kent.

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My Review

I read Meeting Lydia Review Here  a little while ago so I was delighted when Linda asked if I would be interested in A Meeting of a Different Kind. This is a stand alone follow on but to get full enjoyment I suggest reading them in order.

This time we peek into the lives of Edward and Felicity, Marianne and Johnny along with Taryn. All older characters with a wealth of life experience between them.

Edward, staid and set in his ways, a lover of routine is rather put out when his wife of twenty years decides she will spend her mothers’ inheritance to finally follow her dream of owning a small-holding, orchard and restaurant. After raising four children she feels it’s her turn for some independence. Edward feels rejected and un-involved in all her plans.

Marianne had a rough patch in her marriage to Johnny the previous year, she has known Edward since school days and they have a platonic email relationship. After the last book which covered the turmoil of Marianne I was relieved this time to find she has settled down a lot and seems more stable emotionally.

Taryn is a rather bizarre friend of Marianne .. the total opposite in personality, a bit of a ‘man eater’ but they compliment each other and are extremely close.

The whole story examines the thoughts, feelings, actions of these people. How each individual’s actions impact on the others. A fascinating glimpse into the world of ordinary middle aged folk living a normal life but with a few thoughtless comments or decisions they have the ability to rock each other’s sheer existence.

I felt connected to all these people in varying ways .. Edward means well but I would find him extremely irritating because he is so determined to do the right thing all the time. Marianne knows what she wants but is wary of trusting or opening up fully. Felicity is a power driven dynamo intent on things going her way. And Taryn .. well, she is the most complex and potentially the character that I would like to unpeel like an onion to see what is really inside her and understand how she is driven.

The supporting kids, workers, family  and animals all add depth, humour and tears.

I found myself immersed in the complexities of fragile love, forbidden love and the reminiscences of love. Jealousy, friendship, betrayal, mental health this book covers it all in such a way that the reader feels as if they are in the midst of it and could be asked for advice at any given  time. It is certainly a story to read slowly and absorb, allow it to sink into your psyche and it will filter into your daydreams for several days. I think this is an incredibly thought provoking book and I look forward to reading more from Linda. My thanks go to her for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

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