review by Maryom
Persephone has grown up in an extremely remote spot in the Scottish Highlands and can't wait to leave and go to university in London. Her remote home has not offered much in the way of romantic opportunities but she has in her mind an idea of how her ideal man will be - 'outline of love'. London lives up to many of her expectations with crowds and constant noise there she throws herself into the round of student parties but still feels something is lacking until she is introduced to singer turned writer Leo Ford - he seems to fill the 'outline of love' she always imagined. Persephone easily becomes one of his circle of friends but finds it harder to strike up a more personal relationship with Leo - which just increases her obsession for him. As with many celebrities constantly in the public eye, he remains a person about whom everything appears to be known but little really is. What exactly is the dark secret he's hiding? Can Persephone ever get close enough that he'll let down his guard and reveal all?
The Outline of Love is a modern re-working of the Persephone myth with London cast as the Underworld and Leo Ford as its god. For those readers not familiar with it, the ten parts of the book are prefaced with a quotation from it.
Sadly although I could see what the author was trying to achieve, and despite some wonderful characterisations, it didn't grab me. The 'supporting cast' of students and partying Londoners seemed more real and believable than Persephone herself with whom I found it difficult to connect. I didn't really 'feel' a lot of the emotions and desires that she goes through, though this could in part be because I don't share her love of hustle and bustle - I'd choose her home of Assynt over London any day!
With any story that's building towards a big reveal of the uncovering of something murky in one of the characters past, I've a tendency to try to anticipate it - a bit really like guessing whodunnit in a crime novel - and then it's disappointing to discover the secret was what I'd expected.
A lot of things about this book made me wish that overall I'd liked it more - some parts were wonderful; sadly, for me some fell flat.
Maryom's review - 3.5 stars
Publisher - Tinder Press
Genre - Adult fiction
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