Monday, 8 February 2021

Review | The Man I Didn't Marry by Anna Bell

Published by HQ on February 4, 2021


Anna Bell’s books never fail to make me smile and The Man I Didn’t Marry was another one of those emotional rollercoasters that had me late night reading hoping for a happily ever after.

Ellie and Max are happily married with their lovable daughter Sasha and another baby on the way. With the birth of their second child not too far away, Ellie and Max are thrown the ultimate curveball when suddenly, one day, Max loses his memory of the last five years.

Five years covers the entirety of Max and Ellie’s relationship. Now, Max’s only memory of Ellie is of her being his sister’s geeky best friend. The idea of the two of them being married, even the thought of them having had sex, never mind conceiving two babies, is baffling to Max and he cannot get his head around everything which has changed in the past five years. He is even told his beloved Brighton are now in the Premier League – so things are definitely not adding up.

As Max tries to make sense of the life he now lives, all Ellie wants is her husband back, so instead of waiting for him to regain his memory, instead she sets out to get her husband to fall in love with her all over again.

The storytelling was bursting with originality and was truly engaging. It was fascinating just thinking about and looking back on how much can happen in five years. All the memories you can miss out on. All the news and politics and how quickly things change even when it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Though I found the book to be very thought-provoking, it was also at times laugh out loud funny and this was the perfect mix for another warm and wonderful book by Anna Bell.

I cannot remember a book with a more entertaining set of supporting characters. There were so many to mention each with their own memorable side stories such as Anneka, Judy, Graham, Mick, Owen, Rachel and I could go on. The friendship and family relationships in this book were sweet and witty and messy in the best kind of way. They kept the story both light-hearted and at times moving and this had me engrossed as there was never a dull moment. I loved the dynamics between the characters and whilst The Man I Didn’t Marry had me rooting for a happy ending for Ellie and Max, they weren’t the only characters I cared for.

As enjoyable as a book this was, I could also picture The Man I Didn’t Marry as a romcom movie with the original story, the romance, the humour, the secrets, drama and a great set of characters to boot. I prefer books to films but I would still pay to see this on screen!

Overall, Anna Bell’s latest novel definitely did not disappoint. Packed full of love and laughter, this book had me hooked – pure feel-good fiction.



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