My Lover's Lover

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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 ...

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My Lover's Lover

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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.

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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: 9780753116340
  • Publisher: ISIS Large Print Books
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002

Meet the Author

Maggie O'Farrell

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.

Biography

Born in Northern Ireland in 1972, and raised in Wales and Scotland, Maggie O'Farrell worked as a journalist in Hong Kong and as an editor at The Independent on Sunday before bursting on the literary scene in 2000 with her acclaimed first novel, After You'd Gone.

An intricate tale that begins at the end and circles inward to reveal the mystery at its heart, After You'd Gone gave readers their first tantalizing taste of qualities that have since become hallmarks of O'Farrell's fiction -- spare, elegant prose; complex characters with intense, sometimes unexpected connections; and a multi-layered narrative that moves back and forth in time and unfolds from several perspectives. The book was reviewed rapturously and went on to win the Betty Trask Award -- a prestigious U.K. prize for first novels given to Commonwealth writers under the age of 35.

Since her extraordinary debut, O'Farrell's fiction has earned more accolades. Her third novel, The Distance Between Us received the 2005 Somerset Maugham Award; and in 2007, O'Farrell achieved international bestsellerdom with The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, a tangled family drama selected for the Barnes & Noble Recommends program.

Praise for the author's writing is lavish. In its review of Vanishing Act..., The New York Times declared, "O'Farrell performs a traditional, old-fashioned storytelling striptease, seductively unveiling layer after layer of revelatory secrets." And The Independent summed up her talents with these words: "Her gift for storytelling is wrapped in gold paper and tied with 15 velvet bows. Give her any synopsis you like and she would probably make it work." In May, 2007, O'Farrell was selected by the British bookstore chain Waterstone's as one of 25 emergent authors predicted to produce the most impressive body of work over the next quarter century.

Good To Know

    Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Maggie:

    "I was once a cycle courier in Hong Kong but was sacked after three days."

    "I have two cats and half a dog (my sister's -- she allows me to share)."

    "I live in what must be one of the coldest houses in Scotland!"

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2008

    A Great Story

    I really enjoyed this book. I had read the Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox a while back and wanted to read more. I finally got my hands on this one and was not disappointed. I love her writing style and how she spreads the story out between the characters and time. And, it always comes together in the end. She has become one of my favorite authors.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2013

    Angie

    Next res

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book.

    After read the book "after you'd gone" I knew I had to read more books by the author. this book is great. The story and the characters untangle themselves as the story continues. I like this book, but after you'd gone is this my favorite.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2006

    Many kinds of books in one

    This novel begins as one thing and then turns into something completely, entirely, totally different. Throughout the first half I was wondering, 'Why hasn't anyone made this into a movie? It would be so spooky, creepy, great. . .' Then it shifted, and I thought, 'Oh, that's why!' It turns into a story about relationships, a sad look at men and women. Some people might hate that. Some might want the novel to choose and be one thing or the other. All I know is that I had to keep reading to see what happened, and I kept being surprised as the story unfolded. I didn't love it as much as After You'd Gone, her debut novel, but I am still looking forward to her next novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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