A Heart Bent Out of Shape by Emylia Hall
September 12 2013 Headline Review
You may remember Emylia's name from The Book of Summers (a Richard and Judy Bookclub pick) which I read in August 2012. I loved that book - read it from the Library and then went out and bought my own copy! So I was very excited when I heard Emylia had a new book coming out (thank you Ben for the ARC).
Hadley is spending a year studying abroad. She won a university place at Lausanne, Switzerland and for Hadley it is a fresh start, an adventure and a year full of promise.
In halls she meets Kristina - energetic, vivacious, and in love with a married man. The two form a close friendship until, on a Winter's night, Kristina is killed in an accident and Hadley's world is turned upside down.
Enveloped in guilt and grief, Hadley resolves to find the man Kristina loved and tell him what has happened. She feels she owes Kristina that. Hadley enlists help from two very different sources; crime author Hugo who loves a good mystery, and Joel - Hadley's American Lit Professor and a man Hadley can't stop thinking about.
Will the circumstances of Kristina's death be discovered and will Hadley finally be able to put her to rest? Read the book and find out!
I practically inhaled this novel. Its terribly good! The Lausanne descriptions are simply magical but for me, it is the character relationships that really make this story special. We get to see Hadley grow as a person; see what she gains, what she learns, from having each person in her life. I especially like Hugo - an intuitive continental gentleman with a glint in his eye and a penchant for chocolate and cognac.
The end of the novel is filled with dramatic tension - I guessed at the ending - and was wrong, which was brilliant! I *may* have gasped aloud (totally did!). Emilya Hall brought Lausanne to life and Lausanne taught Hadley to live. A truly wonderful novel.