In love, there’s no such thing as a coincidence …
Scottsville, Arizona, 1989
In small-town America, Joy Sheldon loves the plants that bloom in the desert but longs too for the sea’s elemental wildness. It’s a dream never realised – and now, facing the brutal truth that her husband is a cheat, Joy learns of unimaginable secrets in her early life. Riven by betrayal and loss, a chance encounter with the enigmatic Lewis, Joy embarks on a journey to seek her true identity – and to discover why the sea pulls so strongly at her heart.
Soho, London, 1967
Lewis Bell, abandoned by his mother and responsible for his wayward sister, is now living the dream. An ambitious young graphic designer, he’s aiming for the big time – if only he can keep his creative spark. His talented girlfriend Marnie adds pressures of her own and, as Lewis’s troubles intensify, sixties London fast shows its darker side.
Ballycastle, Ireland, Easter, 1989
Unexpectedly drawn together, Joy and Lewis fly across the Atlantic to the Irish coast. She’s in search of a lost mother; he’s looking for a lost love. They need to make peace with the past, with themselves and others. But the truths they encounter and connections they create will transform everyone’s lives forever.
Bold, intimate and joyful, this glorious novel deftly interweaves decades, continents and lives to tell a story of the irresistible gravity of love.
The Gravity of Love is published on the 24th May 2018 by Black & White Publishing. Many thanks to the publisher for letting me kick off this blog tour alongside Love Books Group and for my copy of the book for this review.
The Gravity of Love is a beautiful read about just that, all consuming love in different forms and that ‘in love, there’s no such thing as coincidence’ and this book conveys that wonderfully.
The story is told through the voices of the two main characters, Joy and Lewis, across different timelines. The present time is 1989 and we meet Joy and Lewis, both living in a small Arizonian town who instantly strike up a friendship when they meet whilst watching the amazing sight of the Northern Lights.
Joy is married to Eddie, who she married very young following an unexpected pregnancy however they were two people very much in love and went on to have another child. Roll forward when both her children are adults, Eddie is always working and Joy is a housewife and feeling unfulfilled in life. Everything that she does seems to be to please others. When Joy’s beloved father dies she is rocked by his deathbed confession that she was adopted, Joy begins to question who she really is and who is the mysterious woman who abandoned her miles away in Ireland?
Back in the late 1960’s, Lewis was carving a successful career as a graphic designer, on the cusp of becoming partner in the firm with a massive deal. He is also in the middle of a passionate affair with Marnie….it is clear from the outset that all did not end well considering he is now living in Arizona with Samantha. When postcards start to arrive from Ireland, Lewis is convinced that Marnie is reaching out to him all these years later.
What I absolutely adored with this book was hearing from both Joy and Lewis as well as the various timelines that beautifully weave together to the overall story. Alongside this, Noelle Harrison also conveys brilliantly the various settings of the book – we have the stifling dry heat of Arizona as well as the wet, cold (by comparison) and dull weather of Ireland. Mixed in we also have London in the 1960’s – a brilliant combination of times and countries which add to the overall effect of this story.
The Gravity of Love is a stunning exploration into just that, the gravity of love that spans time and countries as well as different kinds of love. Before I knew it, I was half way through and I was sad when I came to the end. Beautiful from start to finish!
Born in London, I moved to Ireland in 1991, shortly afterwards setting up the theatre company Aurora. I have written four stage plays, Northern Landscapes, Black Virgin, Runaway Wife and The Good Sister, and one short film, Blue Void. I have also written extensively on visual art in Ireland, contributing to various journals and artists’ catalogues over the years.
In August 2004 my first novel Beatrice was published by Tivoli/ Pan Macmillan. My second novel, A Small Part Of Me, was published by Tivoli / Pan Macmillan in September 2005. My third novel I Remember was published by Pan Macmillan in September 2008. The Adulteress was published by Pan Macmillan in September 2009, and The Secret Loves of Julia Caesar, an illustrated limited edition novella was published in 2012.
Having lived in Bergen in Norway for several years, in September 2012 Beatrice was published by Juritzen Forlag in Norwegian. My Noelle Harrison novels have also been translated and published in Italy, Germany, Holland, and Hungary.
I am also published under the pen name Evie Blake and my Valentina Trilogy has been published in over 13 countries worldwide.
In 2014 I was one of 56 Irish Writers included in the anthology and exhibition Lines of Vision Irish Writers on Art at the National Gallery of Ireland, and published by Thames & Hudson.
I currently live in Edinburgh in Scotland, and I am one of the founders of Aurora Writers’ Retreats