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Paper Swans By Jessica Thompson

'Paper Swans‘Paper Swans’ is Jessica Thompson’s latest book.

Ben Lawrence seems to have it all – the hot job, the flashy car, the luxurious apartment. But one tragic day in his past mars his future. Since the events of that day he hasn’t truly got close to anyone. He made a promise that love was the price he would pay for his mistakes. When Effy Jones – a bright, ambitious charity founder – walks into the PR firm where Ben works, neither realise that their lives are about to be turned upside down.

‘Paper Swans’ see the return of Jessica Thompson with her signature style of writing, a story told by both the female and male leads, this time it was case of Ben and Effy, an unlikely pair who have a strong attraction towards each other but just like Jessica’s previous books, they both have issues that makes this new relationship unable to properly work.

Ben, is a hard working PR guru, one of the best in the business, his grumpy boss thinks he’s great and his colleagues admire him. Rich, handsome and with no shortage of female companions, he lives the life of a jack the lad, never committing and always shying away from relationships. To the outside world, it looks like he has no desire to settle down but behind closed doors, he harbours a deep secret which makes him stay away from love. Trying to fight against the memories of his past, he attends a therapist but nothing seems to help until he meets Effy and suddenly love seems like an option.

Effy is completely different to Ben, having successfully set up her own charity called Dafina Kampala, for poverty stricken children in Uganda, she is a selfless person with a huge heart. She makes Ben feel like a better person, as he is given the chance to work alongside with her charity and she makes him appreciate the smaller things in life. Although, Ben feels close to Effy, he can’t tell her about his past and lives in fear that she will find out the truth about him. Loved up and happy, the couple enjoy a new relationship until Effy goes out to Uganda to work on her charity but not before she finds that Ben is working with a company that caused a major oil disaster. Disappointed and hurt that he kept such big news from her, she leaves Uganda heartbroken and ignoring all contact with him.

Like her other books, ‘Paper Swans’ has a sweetly illustrated cover of paper swans in yellow and silver foil. Another addition to the story is that each chapter’s title is a line within a chapter, I thought this was particularly quirky and made me look out for the lines.

I’ve read all of Jessica’s books and have enjoyed them immensely, they are always poignant stories of love and heartbreak, told in dual narratives with compelling characters and ‘Paper Swans’ was just that.

Both Ben and Effy are interesting characters with Effy being a more stronger person of the two. After witnessing poverty and sickness in the world, she wants to make a change whereas Ben is a whiz kid in public relations but this is probably what makes the two of them such an interesting couple with opposites attract. Effy is quite forward and is quick to tell what she thinks, which often catches Ben off guard.

We know Ben has suffered some great tragedy in his life and there are mentions of this from the very start but once again in Jessica’s signature style of writing, there are little mentions of memories but nothing is revealed until the end.

This book is another wonderful story from one of my favourite authors, it’s a sweetly written tale about love but also focuses on the subjects of mental health and poverty and handles both topics beautifully. A highly recommended and heartwarming book.

You can buy Paper Swans from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

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