You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell gave me intense Mama Mia vibes from the first few chapters. For me that’s not a bad thing, I mean who doesn’t love Mama Mia? I knew that Jill Mansell had done it again and this book would end up in my ‘must read again’ pile.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve always been a city girl, but I find romance novels that are set in small towns and countryside villages even more attractive. Somehow, it just adds to the romantic aura and makes the story all the more heartwarming. Everything is charming and quaint and the people are often loveable in their closeness to one another within the community. Something I never experienced in my earlier years living in London. So this novel, set in Cornwall was already winning.
Unfortunately, when you’ve read as many romance novels as I have, you see those tell tale signs that set up certain relationships. And although this was apparent, what made this novel more delightful than most cliche novels of the same genre, was that there were people surrounding the main character who were also on journeys of their own to find love or acceptance. We got to see the views of a few different characters and joined them on their path which intertwined with our heroine. This was by far my favourite thing about the book. A lot of novels focus on the main character and don’t touch on the lives of those surrounding her (or him), or if they do, they tend not to give satisfying endings to secondary characters. Jill does.
Now whilst on the subject of the endings, I have to say that I was ever so slightly disappointed. I felt as though the pace was a little off. Towards the end it fel rushed, almost as though the author was trying to tie up as many loose ends as possible in the space of a few final chapters. It didn’t feel, to me, as though it matched the rest of the novel. Perhaps it was the constrains of word counts, or perhaps it was simply because I craved more of this delightful story. Regardless, this wasn’t a deal breaker.
I’m definitely glad I read this book and would absolutely recommend it.