Ever Fallen In Love by Zoë Strachan
Sandstone Press Ltd (paperback), 2011
This is a library book borrowed from The Mitchell Library (http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/libraries/the-mitchell-library/pages/home.aspx).
BLURB FROM THE COVER
Richard fell for Luke at university.
Luke was handsome, dissolute, dangerous; together they did things that Richard has spent the last decade trying to forget.
Now his career is on the brink of success, but his younger sister Stephie’s life is in pieces. Her invasion of Richard’s remote west coast sanctuary forces Richard to confront the tragedy and betrayal of his past, and face up to his own role in what happened back then.
In this compelling, visceral tale of how not to fit in, Zoë Strachan takes us on a journey through hedonistic student days to the lives we didn’t expect to end up living, and the hopes and fears that never quite leave us.
You wouldn’t think that there were still women who could be ruined. Perhaps there aren’t any more, but back then, in that University town by the sea; there were. It was quite an old-fashioned place. Luke was quite old-fashioned too. Cast himself as a latter day Dorian or Valmont, sinned the old sins.
I was very disappointed by Ever Fallen In Love. I picked this up at the library because the blurb and comments on the cover made it sound right up my street – dark obsessions and dysfunctional relationship. Strachan is also the girlfriend of Louise Welsh, a writer I admire so I was curious to see how she compared. Ever Fallen In Love never quite reaches its potential. The darkness of the characters is too bland for me. Strachan has a very different definition of dark than I do. I liked the way the chapters alternate between past and present as the events gradually unfold and found Ever Fallen In Love an easy read. I didn’t love or hate any of the characters and found them all bland and indifferent. Richard is a games developer and I got heartily sick of all the pages and pages of twaddle about the game he’s working on and the meetings and the coding and blah blah blah…. Most of the ‘game speak’ was unnecessary and boring like reading the complete dummies guide to developing yet another videogame based around world war 1. I didn’t find Richard and Luke’s actins very dark. They get drunk and wasted a lot which is too common to be dark and they don’t really do anything extreme. They steal a car which is still not very dark. Luke deals drugs which is a bit darker and this leads to the tragedy Richard has tried to block out for ten years. Even this ‘tragedy’ isn’t very dark and is a bit of a let-down. I liked the idea behind Ever Fallen In Love but found it too bland and forgettable.