I Don’t Want to Talk About it delivers a romance with all of the poignancy you would expect from a Choc Lit read. The title is perfect for this story, which looks at loss and love, the impact of grief on our lives and relationships and our ability to deal with it. Peppered with the perfect amount of humour to make it uplifting, as well as heart breaking, it tells the story of a successful author, who might just be in danger of becoming a one hit wonder if she can’t knuckle down and meet the deadline for her second book. Matters are complicated by the fact that her editor is also now her ex-boyfriend. How could Winter Gregory not break it off with a man who would make her choose between him and her twin sister? There is more to this than meets the eye is all I will say on that subject. You need to read it. Opening in a graveyard …? Uplifting, I hear you ask. Oh yes. As soon as eight-year old Scarlet appears on the scene, with Light Bulb, her very real ‘hobby’ horse and a cherished connection to her lost mother, you can’t help but smile and be as drawn in as Winter was.
The use of social media as a form of communication is extremely clever, allowing us to come to know Alex through his emails and twitter messages. Alex’s grief and guilt over the loss of his sister has manifested itself physically. Alex, Scarlet’s uncle and now her guardian, has developed a stammer, meaning he is not always able to verbalise well and causing Scarlet more problems at school than being a motherless child. Alex is one of the good guys, we feel. How can Winter not be drawn to him? Similarly, through Dan’s emails, we come to see a softer side of the ex-boyfriend. The reference to the epitaphs carved on headstones I found touching and equally clever, giving us glimpses into Winter’s inner character.
To say more would definitely be the classic spoiler. Jane Lovering has given us a heroine who is strong yet vulnerable, defensive, yet caring. Definitely identifiable with, as are all the characters, including Alex’s initially annoying mother. ‘I Don’t Want to Talk About it’ is written, as mentioned, with humour and huge sensitivity. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it. Perfect escapism, yet real.