Guest Editor Kristy McCormick
The Message, Julie Highmore
â€˜You have one new message.\’ It was from Robert. Jen dropped her bags and pressed the key to listen. â€˜Hi, John,\’ said her husband, â€˜I\’m on my way. But, listen, don\’t cook for me…\’ Did he say Jen or John?
With one indiscreet message left on the wrong phone, Jen discovers that her neat and ordered life is a complete sham. At least, her marriage is. What Jen discovers after hearing that message and the days and weeks that follow is that her life is not what she thought it was, her husband not the person she believed she had married. Jen thought she was happy â€“ a seemingly loving marriage, successful business and a circle of interesting friends. But when it all comes tumbling down who can she turn to for help?
Jen is out one day when a chance sighting of a face from her past sends her reeling again. She believes she saw Kit Avery â€“ her first love, the love who she thought would be the one to last forever. Following some soul searching Jen tracks Kit down and discovers that he, too, is suffering from the unfair actions of someone he loves. As they both try to make sense of the situations they find themselves in, they gradually re-discover the friendship they left behind all those years ago.
The Message is a story of broken dreams, lost loves and the chance of a new beginning. I have to admit though, although the premise of the story sounded exciting I found the book to be, well, a little dull.
The story jumps back and forth between Jen and Kit\’s current personal dramas and then back to their time spent on a German airbase where they first met as teenagers. This style is a little disjointed and takes a few sentences in some chapters to realise where you are at, but you do get used to it over the course of the book. The characters in the book are also not characters I managed to feel any real affinity for â€“ Jen as a teenager is downright annoying; Kit as a teenager is more likeable, but as an adult appears boring and lacking direction. As for the people that caused the angst in Kit and Jen\’s lives â€“ their brother and husband respectively â€“ they are shallow, irresponsible and appear to simply get away with all the supposed hurt they caused throughout the book.
I can\’t actually say that I really disliked this book, but the cover blurb led me to believe I was settling in to read a juicy, scandalous story of forbidden love. And what I discovered instead were some characters that I really didn\’t care about, a disjointed story line that I found difficult to follow at times and nothing original in the scandal department. There were areas of the book that would have made for more interesting reading â€“ like life on a German airbase in the 60\’s, but weren\’t fully explored. The ending also left me a little disappointed â€“ you kind of know where things will end up, but for me there were a few loose ends that didn\’t appear to be tied up in a satisfactory way. Sorry to disappoint all those Julie Highmore fans out there (and I will admit I haven\’t read anything of hers before) but this one just lacked a little dazzle for me.
Available now: Hachette RRP$32.95