This month sees the publication of The Night That Changed Everything, the second novel co-written by friends Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice. The premise of the story is how one simple act or comment can completely change the way we think about someone else, or ourselves.
‘It feels like something has just begun’
The novel opens by introducing Rebecca, an architect who is celebrating the opening of her friend’s bar. By the end of the night Rebecca meets Ben and senses that this is the start of something special. From here the story picks up eleven months later with Rebecca and Ben in a relationship. Everything seems pretty perfect with both parties in the relationship content. Laid back Ben is supportive and devoted to the ambitious Rebecca – who keeps him on his toes. However, their blissful relationship falters following a revelation that threatens their future. A throwaway comment from an acquaintance leaves them stunned, leaving them to question just how strong their relationship really is…
‘People think heartache is an emotional pain and it is, but it’s a physical pain too.’
Following this revelation, Rebecca and Ben’s love story is re-written. The chapters alternate between the points of view of Rebecca and Ben and I liked the way that this offered the male and female perspectives on the situation, whilst creating two very different voices. They both begin to analyse each other, their relationship and the chances of them having a future together. It perfectly captures the mixture of emotions that people go through following a break up, and is a fascinating glimpse into the characters minds. It explores the heartache, anxiety and uncertainty and exposes the vulnerability of the human heart. These emotions are further exacerbated when other unexpected events occur which put their relationship to the test.
‘You can’t start a new chapter if you keep rereading the last one.’
Whilst the subject matter is quite deep and emotional this is by no means a heavy read. I found this novel very accessible and easy to get into. I really liked the writing style and found it to be fresh and funny. Laura and Jimmy were friends from university and the bond that they share translates well into this novel. The dialogue they create between the friends feels very authentic and there is a chemistry between the characters that feels very real. These family relationships and friendships also form a key part of the story as those who surround Rebecca and Ben find themselves caught within the situation. The couple’s faltering bond impacts the relationships between them and their loved ones and it transpires there is more that has been left unsaid.
‘Maybe that’s what love is – giving your whole self, even if it sometimes hurts.’
The Night That Changed Everything is an enjoyable story of love, friendship and moving on. It is a book that explores the challenges of relationships, and whether we can forgive and forget. But this is not just a romantic comedy; it is a story of bonds of different types – boyfriend and girlfriend, work colleagues, father and daughter, best friends. A bittersweet tale of a modern relationship.
The Night That Changed Everything will be published on 24th March 2016 by Corgi Books. Many thanks to Becky Hunter for providing a proof copy for review.