Book Review: When You Were Mine – Elizabeth Noble

Title: When You Were Mine
Author: Elizabeth Noble
ISBN: 9781439154854
Pages: 352
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Publisher: Touchstone
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3 out of 5

Summary:

Susannah isn’t quite content with her life. Approaching 40, she doesn’t have any children of her own, but she is a stepmother to her partner Doug’s three children. Her previous failed marriage has left Susannah wary of commitment, but even if that wasn’t the case, she knows something isn’t quite right with her relationship with Doug. But when she runs into her childhood sweetheart, Rob, at her brother’s wedding, Susannah begins to remember her times with Rob and begin asking that very dangerous question – what if?

Review:

When You Were Mine is a somewhat convoluted novel of a woman facing her past, and the discontent in her present. Susannah is a well-written main character, full of lost hopes and dreams. She has forced herself to settle for the life she has now because it’s all she has left. If she acknowledges that what she has with Doug isn’t really what she wants, Susannah will be completely alone. She’s approaching forty and likely can no longer have children, she isn’t married – this was not how her life was supposed to turn out. When she sees Rob, it rekindles all those deadened feelings within her.

This novel jumps between past and present in order to flesh out Susannah and Rob’s love story, and it’s very disconcerting. The novel doesn’t make it clear when it is going to jump, so the reader can think they are in one time frame, and then realize a page later that they are incorrect. It was incredibly convoluted and difficult to follow, and as a result, the structure hampered my enjoyment of the story. I was invested in the Susannah of the present, and continually taking me back to her days as a teenager really took away from the story for me.

The real highlight of When You Were Mine was the friendship between Susannah and her best friend, Amelia, who is going through chemotherapy treatments. I continually wished that Noble would focus more on this duo, as they had a rich and honest friendship I really enjoyed.

All in all, When You Were Mine fell mostly flat for me. While I was interested in the characters, the structure of the novel and storytelling devices didn’t work for me. I’ve enjoyed many of this author’s other books, and I’d recommend picking one of those up before going for this one.

Affiliate Links:

Buy this book from Powell’s Books
Buy this book from Amazon.com
Buy this book from your local Indiebound bookstore

Comments

  1. Oh, I can totally see why this one didn’t work for you. When a story has a dual storyline and the margins of those two storylines aren’t very delineated, things can get pretty confusing. I don’t think that I would be able to get into this one with all that confusion going on. I am sorry that this one didn’t work for you, but did like your candid approach to the review.

  2. Oh, I can totally see why this one didn’t work for you. When a story has a dual storyline and the margins of those two storylines aren’t very delineated, things can get pretty confusing. I don’t think that I would be able to get into this one with all that confusion going on. I am sorry that this one didn’t work for you, but did like your candid approach to the review.

  3. I’m not so big on the dual storylines, either. Sorry to hear this one isn’t a winner!

  4. I’m not so big on the dual storylines, either. Sorry to hear this one isn’t a winner!

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy:  I welcome comments and read each one I receive. If your comment needs a response, I will provide it in a timely manner, as I read every comment I receive. Please keep your comments civil and polite! I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude or inappropriate. Because of spam, I have to moderate comments on old posts. Please be patient - I will approve your comment quickly.

Before the tag in the Genesis footer: !-- Quantcast Tag -->