The State We’re In By Adele Parks

[amazon_link id=”0755371380″ target=”_blank” ]The State We're In[/amazon_link]’The State We’re In’ is the latest book by Sunday Times bestseller, Adele Parks.

What are the odds that the stranger sitting next to you on a plane is destined to change your life? Especially when they appear to be your opposite in every way. She’s a life-long optimist, looking for her soul mate in every man she meets; he’s a resolute cynic – cruel experience has taught him never to put his faith in anyone. People can surprise you. In the time it takes to fly from London to Chicago, each finds something in the other that they didn’t even realise they needed. Their pasts are such that they can never make one another happy and it’s when they get off the plane that their true journey begins…

I’ve been a huge fan of Adele Parks for a number of years, I have always enjoyed her stories of love, infidelity and illness, told in her frank fashion with ingenuius plotting and characters that you immediately fall in love with and wish with all your might that the story ends happily for them, but you know that along the way that there will be tears and heartbreak. So when I received a copy of ‘The State We’re In’ I was eager to get stuck in and see if Adele had delivered another gripping and poignant story.

The story revolves around four main characters Jo and her mum Clara and Dean and his father Eddie, all completely unaware of their unknown connections in life. Eddie, is dying and it seems that dying doesn’t make him any more of a likeable character, since he left his wife and children after an illicit affair, he refuses to feel any remorse or regret towards the consequences his actions caused. Once a lusted after writer for the BBC, he has a bitterness and an arrogance about his life, as he reflects on his past, he lacks remorse and continues to behave selfishly. His son Dean, hasn’t saw Eddie for 29 years, but after being contacted by his father’s hospital, he leaves Chicago to travel home to London, still bitterly angry with his father, but hoping that the visit will finally give him some closure. Meanwhile Jo has become tired of one night stands and longs to find a man that she can finally have a fulfilling relationship with and she comes to the conclusion that the only man for her is her ex fiancé Martin, the one that got away and decides to go to Chicago and prevent his upcoming wedding from happening whilst her mother Clara decides to drop the charade of her perfect life all with disastrous results.

‘The State We’re In’ is a book that definitely makes for compelling reading, Adele has once again achieved characters that you can instantly loathe and love in equal measures. Eddie plays the bad father role perfectly, still caught up in the time when women would fall at his feet, he is selfish in his words and actions on his death bed, as he recalls his departure from his family with reckless abandon never really giving his children a second thought. His son Dean, plays the hero of the story beautifully. Wonderfully attractive and successful in his career, but also vulnerable, he has failed to get too deep in relationships as the memories of his childhood still rage in his head, but with a chance meeting with Jo, the lead female of the story we see him let his guard down and finally let someone get close to him and confide in. I have to admit I loved Jo, she was the eternal optimist and I enjoyed her naivety immensely. She was like a child in a woman’s body, as she followed her Disney dream of catching her Prince Charming, her zest and fun for life was contagious and regularly I found myself smiling along with her as she sat beside Dean oblivious to the world around her.

The scenes with Dean and Jo on the flight to Chicago in particular make for insightful and observant reading, as both people open up to each other and confide their deepest secrets and thoughts, as they reflect on their past and wonder about the future that is lead out before them holds.

A cleverly written and tragically beautiful story filled with empathy and regret, that will stay in your thoughts for a long time, ‘The State We’re In’ is a story of love, family, abandonment and putting ghosts to rest. A haunting tale that will leave you in floods. This truly is Adele Parks at her best, I can’t recommend this book enough, a must read for all Adele Parks fans.

You can buy [amazon_link id=”0755371380″ target=”_blank” ] The State We’re in from Amazon [/amazon_link] and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 4th July 2013.

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