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Monday, 8 January 2018

#HowToFallInLove by Emmy Abrahamson @BoroughPress

About How to Fall in Love with a Man Who Lives in a Bush

A fresh, hilarious and compulsively readable love story with the most wonderful kernel of truth to it. An uplifting and clever read for fans of Graeme Simsion and Marian Keyes.

Julia is looking for Mr Right, but Ben is more Mr Right-Now-He-Could-Do-With-a-Bath..

You may think you know what kind of novel this is, but you’d be wrong.

Yes, Julia is a single-girl clich√©, living alone with her cat in Vienna and working in a language school. And yes, a series of disastrous dates has left her despairing of ever finding The One – until Ben sits next to her on a bench. He’s tall, dark, handsome…

…and also incredibly hairy, barefoot, a bit ripe-smelling and of no fixed abode.

You guessed it – they fall in love, as couples in novels do. But can Julia overlook the differences between them, abandon logic and choose with her heart?

Funny, filthy (literally) and fizzing with life – and based on a true story! – this is the perfect antidote to all those books promising you that Prince Charming lives in a castle.

My review of How to Fall in Love with a Man Who Lives in a Bush

How to Fall in Love with a Man Who Lives in a Bush is a delightful,  heartfelt and beautiful read.  This is a love story like no other I have ever read, and it's also based on the author's true life story of how she met her husband, which makes it even more romantic.  However, don't be fooled into thinking that this is a slushy and hearts and flowers type of read because it isn't.  This is a deep and meaningful, gritty and utterly believable story about how two people fall in love.

Set against the backdrop of a picturesque Vienna (I have never been, but thanks to this novel I now feel that I have), we meet the protagonist, Julia. A foreign language teacher who finds herself disillusioned with her job (the scenes where she is teaching are hilarious), and living a lonely social life after the breakdown of her relationship.  She has a few friends but spends most of her time filling in surveys, donating blood and even going for sight texts just so that she can interact with people. Although this is funny on the surface, when we scratch a little deeper it is profoundly sad. Julia is missing meaning in her life,... and then Ben comes along.

Now Ben completely shakes up Julia's life, and that's all I will say about what happens between them. What does unfold is a quirky,  poignant and sensitive story about love, trust and relationships.  Ben is homeless, he has very few possessions,  does not have the luxury of a shower but in comparison to Julia, seems entirely happy with life and indeed himself. He is a breath of fresh air and I loved reading their unfurling relationship.

The writing is incredibly sharp and to the point. I felt like I was in Julia's head and I completely understood her. At times she infuriated me, and I found myself shouting at her, but I liked her and I wanted her to be happy.  The real star for me though was Ben. A bear of a man with a huge heart. We could all do with a Ben in our life.

How to Fall in Love with a Man Who Lives in a Bush is a delightful read. It'll make you think about your present love, how you met, that initial spark. It will make you think about love you lost and what might have been. At its core this is simply a story about unconditional love and it's so very beautiful.

How to Fall in Love with a Man Who Lives in a Bush is published by the Borough Press on 25 January. It can be found on Amazon here.

With many thanks to the publisher and Emille Chambeyron who sent me a paperback proof copy.

About the Author

EMMY ABRAHAMSON published her first book in 2011, the young adult novel Min pappa ar snall och min mamma ar utlanning (My Dad's Kind and My Mum's a Foreigner). She has written three other YA books and was nominated for Sweden's August Prize in 2012 for Only vag is upp (The Only Way Is Up). How to Fall in Love with a Man Who Lives in a Bush is her adult debut.

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