Wednesday 24 September 2014

Review ~ One Step Closer To You by Alice Peterson.

Title: One Step Closer To You.
Author: Alice Peterson.
Publisher: Quercus.
Publication Date: September 25, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

After Polly ends her relationship with the father of her young son, Louis, she is determined to move on. All she wants is to focus on her job, her friends and to be a good mum. No more looking over her shoulder. No more complications…

Then Polly meets Ben.

Ben is guardian of his niece, Emily. They become close, with Polly teaching Ben how to plait Emily’s hair, and Ben playing football with Louis. Their friendship is unexpected. Polly’s never been happier.

But when Louis’s dad reappears in their life, all Polly’s mistakes come back to haunt her and her resolve weakens when he swears he has changed.

Will she give herself a second chance to love?

There are some authors who release incredible books time and time again, and Alice Peterson is one of those special authors whose books never fail to impress me. With each book, there’s always that little apprehension that it may be the one which doesn’t live up to expectations, the one that isn’t as good as the rest. Yet with One Step Closer To You, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. This book is simply stunning – with a beautiful, sensitive outlook on a dark theme but a dark theme that never fails to have a bit of hope and a bit of optimism ready to break out. I can’t really express how much I adored this book, except by saying this is my favourite Alice Peterson novel by far and that I can only think of two other books I’ve ever read that struck me like this one. It was a fantastic, unforgettable read.

One Step Closer To You effortlessly switches in time, from Polly’s childhood, to meeting the man who’d later be father to her son Louis, and to the present, where Polly’s friendship with Ben is beginning to put a smile back on her face and helping her on the road to finding herself. The time changes in this book with ease and there’s no room for confusion or a lack of connection with the plot. Polly as a leading character was one of my all-time favourites. From when she was a child, her relationship with her partially blind brother Hugo was so endearing and heart-warming. Their love and care for each other was truly beautiful to read and it wasn’t a perfect relationship, making it feel genuine and believable, but it was one that really helped me to connect with Polly right from the start, even though we know alcohol is about to take her down a not-so-pleasant road.

Everything about this book felt real. With a natural progression in the story and the friendships and relationships involved, this novel was so easy to believe in and I think Polly, with her flaws and mistakes, brought the perfect message with her attitude towards life. Because there were plenty of times throughout where she could have given in, turned to drink and not tried to make life better for herself and her son and yet that did not represent her character at all. Regardless of how things were working out, Polly was always caring and always kept on going – making the most out of the little things in life instead of giving in because the whole picture was a mess. She was an inspiring character and it was all helped by her equally easy-to-like friend in Ben. I felt like they both had a lot to share with each other and to teach each other and it was seriously heart-warming to read.

Over her last few books, I’ve learnt that I am incapable of not loving anything Alice Peterson writes. But what won me over in One Step Closer To You more than her previous books was the great host of supporting characters because whilst I loved Ben and Polly, the side characters were charming and entertaining in their own rights and really ensured no moment of this book was wasted. From Aunt Viv who won me over with her obvious care, light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel outlook and advice, to Stephanie, who was an understated character that never failed to make me smile. The development in every single character in this book was handled faultlessly by Alice and her writing in general is a real joy to read. We’re brought the perfect mix of sensitive, emotive writing and a little fun and humour and twists which are plausible and not forced upon us. Sublime writing and a book I will absolutely treasure because there’s few writers who can make me invest in a fictional story the way I did here and take away a beautiful uplifting message too. One Step Closer To You is a wonderful novel.

Alice Peterson is the bestselling author of Monday to Friday Man, which has sold over 500,000 copies across all editions, as well as Ten Years On and By My Side. She has also written two non-fiction books, a personal story called Another Alice about her battle to overcome rheumatoid arthritis, which ended her tennis career, and a family memoir based on her grandmother's life in Rhodesia. She lives in West London.

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  1. I can't wait to read this book! And such a wonderful review again!

    1. Thank you! Hope you love it as much as I did. :)


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