This was the first novel that I read by Jane Costello and I was extremely impressed.
Told in two narratives from the perspective of the two main leads – Dan and Gemma – The Love Shack was an endearing, cute and laugh-out-loud kind of story. The novel revolves around the lives of Dan and Gemma who have been together for quite some time and they want to take the next step in their relationship – purchase a house together.
Dan is the kind of guy you read about in books – how ironic – who has become a reality for Gemma. He is kind, caring, funny, loves Gemma more than she can imagine and is drop-dead gorgeous. He is the sort of man who would leave his high-paying flashy job for a poorly paid position in the local homeless centre because he cares about people and wants to help them.
What more could a girl ask for?
Apparently a lot more. As Dan and Gemma decide to move in Dan’s mother’s house – rent-free – in order to save up for their dream home, a lot of things cause a strain in their relationship; including Dan’s mother’s unexampled curries, embarrassingly invasive nature and outrageous antics.
Dan and Gemma need to ensure that they can survive in this, extremely beautiful, house of torture with his mother for 6 months. They almost manage to do it too, until Gemma’s past comes crawling back.
This novel was extremely hilarious and I often found myself laughing out loud, especially during scenes involving Dan’s mother’s awkward actions. It was fun, witty and charmingly romantic. Everyone wants a relationship like theirs – 4 years in and still crazily in love with one another.
Jane Costello has a way with words that manages to pull her readers and not release them until the end. Her ability to string together words to create humour, romance and affection isn’t something that’s easily done; yet she manages to do this effortlessly.
Of course the story in itself is quite basic and real in that it just tells the tale of a couple trying to purchase a house and all of the practical difficulties that are associated with that. So, those who look for some kind of escapism in books might not find this one quite as appealing. However, it was the simplicity of the story that touched me the most. The fact that they have been in a relationship for a few years and are taking the next step is realism in the most uncomplicated way.
It is the kind of romantic realism that we look for in our everyday lives but a lot of the time, we fail to find.
I would give this book a 4/5!
Until next week,