SHORT & SWEET REVIEW: IF YOU WERE ME BY SHEILA O’FLANAGAN

Note, the format of my Short and Sweet reviews differs in that they simply comprise the book blurb and a short response (hence, the short and sweet). 

Sheila O’Flanagan is a well established writer, with more than 20 books to her name, but If You Were Me is the first I’ve read by her. Here’s the blurb:

Carlotta O’Keefe is happily engaged, and the wedding plans are coming together. She’s clear about her future path, both personally and in her busy career. Maybe Chris doesn’t make her heart race every time she sees him, but you can’t have that feeling forever. Can you?? Then, on a trip to Seville, Carlotta runs into Luke Evans. Luke broke her heart so long ago she’d almost convinced herself she’d forgotten him. Now, he’s not that boy any more, but an attractive and intriguing man. And he can explain everything that happened way back when. Suddenly Carlotta’s not so sure of anything any more. Except that what she decides now will shape the rest of her life…

Here’s a snippet.

The other reason I don’t like big, formal meetings is that I’m still afraid of being found out. Of not being able to hold my own. Of letting the sisterhood down. (p137)

In the first instance, this is a classic “what if” story. When two people meet after years apart, it’s the catalyst for soul-searching and big decisions. What if they hadn’t been ripped apart years ago? What if they gave it another go now? What if it was the wrong decision? Underneath the romantic premise, the long-lost love theme, is arguably an even more identifiable theme – the feeling of having to prove yourself. O’Flanagan explores this through Carlotta, who’s taken on the corporate world but is plagued by insecurity. What stood out for me was less the romance and more the reality that today, women still face an uphill battle in the business world. It’s a real and ongoing issue and O’Flanagan tackled it well with her thirty-something character who wonders if she wants to spend the rest of her life proving herself. Overall, an entertaining read.

Available from good bookstores (RRP $29.99). My copy was courtesy of Hachette.

Bookish treat: An apple. And a Turkish Delight chocolate.