I don’t like romance stories. I really don’t. I tend to let my mind drift once it gets too schmoozy and give up if it seems like the two main characters are going to be merely drooling at each other for the next 50 pages.
So this is why the novels by Jojo Moyes surprised me. And the fact that each time, once I reached the dénouement part of the book, I always thought: oh wow, ok, I didn’t expect that. And how many times does that happen to one nowadays?
I haven’t read all of her books, but quite some, such as Me before you, The one plus one, The girl you left behind, and right now, I’m listening to The Peacock Emporium on my iPhone, during my runs and mostly housework, a way I’ve found to make dreadful tasks a bit less boring.
You might have noticed that I’m not the most literary reader. I could be, but … My attention span is very bad and ever since being a full-working mom, it seems like concentration just left for good. (I blame it on the multiple anesthesia I’ve had throughout the years. Nope, not at all on the crazy party years.)
I was always flabbergasted at how she manages to give the plot a nice twist at just the right moment and to balance carefully between sensitive themes, a little bit of romance and stuff like that, and turning points that hook you indefinitely. I isn’t a style that I think will ever be in my repertoire, but I admire her talent, I really do.
Every once in a while, I’ll stumble upon one of her novels that I haven’t read yet and think: oh yes, why not, that’ll do some good.
I’m having a little bit of a hard time finishing the Peacock Emporium right now, but that might also be because I don’t have that much time to do any running on my own these days and that it sometimes is hard to get your concentration back on a novel you’ve put aside too long. It even once happened to me that I mixed up two thrillers, one that I was reading in paperback, and the other I was listening to via Audiobooks. And above all, the stories would have possible fit and made an even crazier outcome of the story!
Anyway, the lesson learned when it comes to writing is that I like very much the surprise effect that Jojo Moyes managed to create even to a reader such as me, who quite often knows what the outcome of the plot will be, just like when it comes to movies (not that I get to actually watch that many movies from beginning to end these days since the kids came around…). And it is a motivation for myself to think a little harder about the plot and try and find that one little tweak that might make it less obvious. I’m nowhere there yet, but hey, I won’t stop trying!
In short, beautiful writing, great plots, page turners every time.