Love In Five Acts by Daniela Krien

Today is publication day for Daniela Krien with her latest novel Love In Five Acts, a book which has already been a bestseller in Germany, translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch. As a reader who has always loved books featuring stories within stories, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read this book ahead of publication, as I knew it was the kind of story that would immediately draw me in. 

The book is split into five chapters, for five women, as each of their stories are told. The title of this book may be Love In Five Acts but aside from exploring the relationships in these women’s lives, each story also explores a number of themes. We see how they each navigate life in the face of a number of challenges and situations, meeting the people they loved and lost along the way, which made for an emotional, often poignant read. We learn about their relationships and friendships, motherhood and careers amongst others. There is certainly a lot to relate to in this book, and there were things here that I could recognise in myself and people who I have crossed paths with in my own life. Through the individual stories of Paula, Judith, Brida, Malika and Jolinde, Krien explores what life is like as a woman in the 21st century. It certainly made for a thought provoking read for me as it raises interesting themes surrounding the choices we face and what is expected of us, how we fulfill our roles as lovers, friends and mothers.

I enjoyed the format of this book and liked that it consisted of five individual stories, each of them interconnected as the lives of these women are interwoven in subtle ways. I was intrigued by each of these stories, and keen to see how things would unfold for each of the women. I feel like this is a novel that would appeal to many readers as the characters within its pages could be women we know or have known. It brings to mind those past conversations with friends concerning unsatisfactory relationships, work stress, the struggle to balance life and love. It’s a book that feels very relevant to some of the challenges we face today, particularly concerning finding that key life balance, finding love and a path in life. Each of the stories feature key observations on modern life and all its challenges and I found myself invested in the lives of these characters whose stories were told with empathy.

I enjoyed Love In Five Acts, both due to its thought provoking and relatable themes and its five-act structure which showcases the ways in which the lives of these women are connected, and the things that set them apart. 

Love In Five Acts was published on 29th April by MacLehose Press. With thanks to Milly Reid at Quercus Books for providing a proof copy for review. 

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