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Seven Days to Tell You (2011)

One day, Kate's husband, Marc, walks out of their apartment and doesn't come back. Devastated, Kate spends the next three years obsessively hunting him down, to no avail, while sleeping with other men and breaking their hearts as hers has been broken. Then one morning she wakes up to find Marc beside her in bed again. He asks for seven days for them to start afresh, and after that Kate can decide whether or not she wants to take him back. But can Kate ever trust him again? Seven Days to Tell You was chosen by reading groups around the UK to be published by Hookline Books, and it's certainly an original read. A vast proportion of the narrative is in the second person, a technique that could be over-utilised in certain situations but works for this particular story. Ruby Soames writes with an eloquence and lyricism that belies the fact that this is her first novel, and absolutely nails the characterisation. However, although convincing, I occasionally found Kate and her dubious, if understandable, actions hard work. It's a book that may be too bleak in its realistic depiction of the complexity of the human condition for some readers, but if you're looking for a sombre, unpredictable and compelling read with fresh metaphors and a rich array of imagery, this book is for you. (SBB)

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