Published by Zaffre on April 20, 2017
Is it ever a good idea to meet up with an ex-boyfriend?
Let’s admit it, we have all at some point thought about a past love who might just have been The One That Got Away. Whether you’re happily or unhappily coupled, proudly single or on the look-out, there is always a lingering nostalgia for the the boy who used to make your heart sing.
Sweetened by distance, distorted by rose-tinted spectacles, the memories can jump up and surprise you at any moment. And with the power of social media, you can turn dreams into reality with the click of a mouse. The friend request, the innocent catch-up chit chat, then the ‘we must meet up for a drink some time.’ Next thing you know, you’re telling your partner you might be late home one evening, but forgetting to mention the friend you’re meeting is your ex. After all, it’s only a drink, why frighten the horses? You sit there with your gin and tonic, in a state of heightened excitement, waiting for your teenage dreamboat to walk in the door. And fail to notice the portly, balding middle-aged man who is grinning and waving to you from the other side of the bar.
This is pretty much what happens to the heroine of my novel INVISIBLE WOMEN. Seduced by their online banter, Tessa is intrigued to meet up with the boy she hasn’t seen since she was seventeen, even though she is now married with grown up children. It is scientifically proven that emotions experienced during our youth leave a powerful imprint on the young brain that is all too easily reawoken at a later date. Which can be complicated if you don’t both have the same idea about how to deal with them!
You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens to Tessa, but I admit I drew on my own experience of friends being thrown into turmoil in their fifties by the unexpected resurgence of an old flame. If it’s not through Facebook, it could the school or college reunion. Somewhere in the ravaged face of that unremarkable man, you find the spark you’ve been missing, and it’s the beginning of a passionate affair that may embarrass your children, but is a massive endorsement for the over fifties. At the best wedding I’ve ever been to, the bride wore full white regalia in defiance of her mature years and her groom serenaded her during his speech with an emotional rendition of ‘When you were sweet sixteen.’ There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
INVISIBLE WOMEN by Sarah Long is published by Bonnier Zaffre