You Had Me at Hello

By Mhairi McFarlane

** spoiler alert ** This was a very well-written entertaining book. Mhairi McFarlane has a voice similar to Milly Johnson and Kristan Higgins. I did like it and will definitely be reading more novels by her. Ben and Rachel became friends and really soulmates minus the romance in college. We know they fell apart mysteriously. This is a double timeline story between the present, as Rachel is breaking up with her boyfriend of 13 years and meeting Ben again alternating with the past story of Ben and Rachel’s early friendship, leading up to how they broke apart. We become involved with Rachel’s friends and her career as a court reporter. Both the two timelines are engaging. Are you sensing a “but”? You would be right. Although I liked Rachel, her self delusion and passive approach to her life were irritating.

It was a decision by default. Which is how you seem to make your decisions, by not making them. They happen to you.’ The justice of this hits me like a tin of Spam in a swinging sock. I want to contradict it, with every bone in my body and fiber of my being, but sometimes, there’s not enough fresh evidence to appeal….”That’s going to be on your headstone. Here Lies Rachel Woodford. Not Intentionally.”

This is near the end of the book when we have seen this played out time after time throughout. This also plays out in her self deluded “innocent” involvement with the now married Ben. The reader knows she is playing with fire but she never has the moral backbone to see the truth and do the courageous difficult thing. It also applies to an ethical crisis in her career. She is a lying liar from lieville to herself and others. We never see her change and grow and do better. We can only hope. She has spent her adult life with a guy who was bad for her and not worthy of her. She only breaks up with him when she forced to. And it is not at all certain she will not go back to him. In fact it is not at all certain with whom she will end up or if she will end up with anyone at all. It is finally resolved in the last chapter and I felt her happy ending was just tacked on and I’m not sure she deserves it. She certainly didn’t earn it. **3 stars out of 5**

December 1, 2019

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