Mad About You By Mhairi McFarlane
‘Mad About You’ is the latest book by Mhairi McFarlane, one of my favourite authors.
Harriet Hatley is running away from everything. Getting married. Her boyfriend’s family. Her past. A dream house-share seems like the perfect place to hide, but her unlikely housemate Cal is no stranger to running away himself. And he’s also hiding secrets of his own. Can these two take a crazy risk, face the past and finally find a reason to stay?
Over the Christmas holidays, I was delighted and fortunate to have received a proof of Mhairi’s latest book and I was mad about it! I set aside one day to read it and the only time it was put down was when I refreshed my tea and replenished the biscuit plate.
Mhairi has a fantastic knack of creating relatable, quirky protagonists, brooding, charismatic males and delicious scenarios that make for wonderful reading. One perk to Mhairi’s books is that the chapters are short and snappy, so the reader gets easily absorbed in the story.
‘Mad About You’ is seen from the narrative of Harriet. Fresh from a relationship, this wedding photographer has just moved in with Cal who’s also just out of the relationship breakdown. The pair of them are dealing with their own dramas and although they are trying to keep their lives separate, they keep getting caught up in each other’s worlds.
Harriet is a great protagonist, bravely calling time on a relationship and starting afresh whilst everyone else is settling down. As she moves on and her photography empire begins to grow, Harriet is faced with an unsettling reminder of her past. A previous relationship ignites a new passion in her and although facing her past puts a fear in her, she has to address it.
Mhairi’s book are always witty, romantic and warm but there’s always an underlying serious issue and in this book, the theme is gaslighting. An issue that is becoming more prevalent and not enough is known about. Mhairi addresses the issue, the actions and consequences and how it has gone to effect Harriet in other relationships and how even now many years later, this person still has some control over her and doesn’t want other people to suffer like her.
As Harriet faces up to old fears, she’s adjusting to her new life with Cal and how they are helping each other deal with relationship breakdowns. Their initial wariness of each other slowly towards into banter and their scenes together really made for entertaining reading that made me smile and as Harriet found herself warming towards Cal, I found also myself falling for Cal. He’s funny, opinionated and in the short time, that he’s gotten to know Harriet, he’s fiercely protective of her.
Harriet and Cal are not the only stars of the book, their friends Lorna and Sam also add some warm-hearted humour to the story that had me laughing throughout as they offered support to their friends during the hard times.
Again, Mhairi has written another fantastically witty and charming story that engages with the reader so much. Her characters are relatable, charismatic and fun and are people that I’d love to have as friends. The story is filled with humour and love but also concentrates on lesser known issues, that definitely needs to be addressed more.
An addictive and fun love story about packed with wonderful characters, one liners and tense moments, ‘Mad About You’ is a story of endings, new beginnings and facing old ghosts that was impossible to put down.
You can pre-order ‘Mad About You’ from Amazon and will be available from good bookshops from 14th April 2022.