My Lover's Lover

My Lover's Lover

4.1 6
by Maggie O'Farrell
     
 

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When Lily meets Marcus, she feels an immediate attraction to him. Within a week, she has moved into the magnetic architect's echoing loft in East London. But nothing could have prepared Lily for what she finds there. The distinct presence of another woman lingers in the loft, one who seems to have disappeared in a hurry, leaving behind a single party dress, a

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Overview

When Lily meets Marcus, she feels an immediate attraction to him. Within a week, she has moved into the magnetic architect's echoing loft in East London. But nothing could have prepared Lily for what she finds there. The distinct presence of another woman lingers in the loft, one who seems to have disappeared in a hurry, leaving behind a single party dress, a puzzling mark on the wall, and the suffocating scent of jasmine. Lily's unsettling curiosity soon turns to obsession as the spirit of this mysterious woman increasingly haunts her. With a nod to Daphne du Maurier's classic novel Rebecca, My Lover's Lover is a sexy, modern gothic tale that will keep readers hooked until the very end.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British writer O'Farrell turns a deceptively simple romantic novel into an engrossing story of psychological suspense. Lily, a young Londoner, meets Marcus, an architect, at an art opening, and they fall for each other. Within a week, she's moved into his loft, which he also shares with Aidan, a film animator. Lily takes over a room once occupied by Marcus's ex-girlfriend, Sinead. Marcus says very little about Sinead, except that "she's no longer... with us," causing Lily to wonder if perhaps she's dead. As Lily and Marcus become more deeply involved, Lily becomes obsessed with Sinead's fate and thinks she sees her everywhere; especially disconcerting are Sinead's spectral appearances while Lily and Marcus are making love. Then one day, Lily stumbles across the real Sinead and attempts to question her about her relationship with Marcus. Sinead flees, but Lily tracks her down; she finds that Sinead is a lecturer in English literature, and finally gets her to tell why she broke up with Marcus. Sinead's story makes up the second part of the book, chronicling the onset and passionate height of their five-year affair and her discovery that he was an inveterate philanderer. Lily realizes that her relationship with Marcus has been unhealthy; now it's her turn to flee. In the book's final major section, Aidan falls in love with Sinead and a strange turn of events finds three of the characters in Australia. O'Farrell's premise-a woman's curiosity about her lover's former relationship-is somewhat commonplace. What makes her novel distinctive is the supernatural element, which she manages well, suggesting that Lily's subconscious will save her in the end. O'Farrell's debut, After You'd Gone, won a Betty Trask Award. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
O'Farrell's protagonist, Lily, is reminiscent of actress Joan Fontaine in Rebecca and Suspicion, but Lily ultimately lacks the fortitude of either of those women. Subsisting on several part-time jobs, she meets and moves in with architect Marcus, whose girlfriend, Sinead, is "no longer with us." Haunted by Marcus's lost love, Lily sees Sinead everywhere she turns in the loft Marcus once shared with Sinead and tries desperately and without luck to find out how she died. As in After You'd Gone, O'Farrell's acclaimed debut, this novel moves from character to character, laying bare secrets. Instead of a seamless whole, however, O'Farrell delivers several equally unsatisfying and inconclusive stories. Lily's ghostly visions are never adequately dealt with, nor are Marcus's infidelity and obsession. A disappointing follow-up to O'Farrell's first novel.-Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal" Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Britisher O�Farrell�s second (following her award-winning debut, After You�d Gone, 2001) is a fairly standard tale, set in London, of girls meeting, getting, and losing boys. Lily is a professional translator who gave up her career because she found herself unable to think in English anymore, and she now moves among odd jobs as secretary, babysitter, and window-dresser while living at home with her mother. At an art gallery opening, she meets Marcus, a handsome architect, who makes a pass at her and invites her to live with him--as a roommate. With nothing to lose, Lily agrees and moves into Marcus�s custom-designed loft, taking the room that until recently had belonged to a woman named Sinead (who, Marcus explains ominously, "is no longer with us"). Sinead�s presence hovers over the room like a ghost (her clothes, her perfume, Marcus�s unwillingness to talk about her), and Lily finds herself increasingly haunted--to such a degree that at times she even sees Sinead in the apartment. Is she losing her mind? Possibly--but not in the way she thinks: Sinead is alive and well, teaching at a London university, and, eventually, Lily sees her in a bookstore. By this time, Lily has become Marcus�s lover and has figured out that Sinead was an old flame whom Marcus preferred not to discuss. But Lily needs to know what went wrong between them, and she begins stalking Sinead in an attempt to speak to her. Eventually she succeeds, and Sinead tells Lily what came between her and Marcus. It�s not really much of a secret--in fact, it sounds a bit like an episode of Friends--but it lets Lily know what sort of man she�s dealing with. Hip and understated, but, at its heart, embarrassingly mawkish andsentimental.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142004616
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/27/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
813,496
Product dimensions:
5.16(w) x 7.74(h) x 0.65(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Maggie O’Farrell’s debut novel, After You’d Gone, won a Betty Trask Award and earned her a spot on the “21 great talents for the 21st century” list compiled by the Orange Prize for Fiction panel.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK     
Place of Birth:
Coleraine, Northern Ireland
Education:
BA Hons, English Literature, University of Cambridge
Website:
http://www.maggieofarrell.com/bio.html

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