For Once in My Life: A Novel

For Once in My Life: A Novel

by Marianne Kavanagh

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For Once in My Life: A Novel by Marianne Kavanagh

Everyone has a soul mate…but what if you never find each other?

Meet Tess. A vintage clothes-obsessive, she's trapped in a frighteningly grown-up job she loathes. Still, she's been dating the gorgeous accountant Dominic since university, and has a perfectly lovely flat, which she shares with her best friend, Kirsty. But if her life is so perfect, why does she tear up whenever anyone mentions her future?

Meet George. He's a brilliant jazz musician who spends almost as much time breaking up fights between his bickering band mates as he does about living up to his stockbroker girlfriend’s very high expectations. For a guy who has always believed in romance, the grim practicalities of twenty-something life have come as something of a shock. When did his dreams become afterthoughts?

Follow Tess and George through a decade of bad dates, chaotic dinner parties, magical birthdays, dead-end jobs, romantic misalliances, and lots of starting over. For Once in My Life is a charming and intelligent modern comedy of manners, friendship, and missed connections.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476755311
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Publication date: 06/17/2014
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 121,690
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Marianne Kavanagh is a former deputy editor of Marie Claire and has contributed to a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites, including the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, The Guardian, My Daily, Easy Living, and Red. She lives in London. Visit her online at, or follow her on Twitter @MarianneKav.

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For Once in My Life: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once I started, couldn't put it down. Great quick summer read!
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
For Once In My Life is the first novel by British magazine columnist and editor, Marianne Kavanagh. For years, their friends have been telling them that they are ideal for each other, what with George’s love for 1940s jazz music and Tess’s preoccupation with vintage fashion. But while they almost encounter each other many times, something (a bout of gastro, a close friend’s heartbreak, lost contact lenses) always prevents them from actually meeting. And anyway, Tess is happily settled with her logical, organised and totally gorgeous boyfriend Dominic, isn’t she? And yet, neither George nor Tess feels their life is heading in quite the direction they had hoped: George’s passion for jazz falls by the wayside as he marries ambitious lawyer, Stephanie and finds himself teaching small children to play the piano; renovating a flat in Penge with Dominic ensures that Tess’s dream to own a vintage clothing shop remains just that. When they finally do meet, their joy at recognising their soul mate is tempered by the seemingly inextricable attachments they have made in their separate lives. Kavanagh has peopled her novel with characters recognisable from everyday life and faced them with common dilemmas. These eminently likeable (or in some cases, detestable) characters and some ten years of their lives are captured in some marvellously descriptive prose: “…the bewildering chaos that followed him around wherever he went – lost keys, odd socks, off milk, bank cards that wouldn’t work and passwords he couldn’t remember, a seething, scuttling mass like cockroaches in a dark basement that you only see, for one horrified moment, when you turn on the light” and “ Tess… now thought of money as risky and unreliable – something that disappeared, without warning, into thin air. Fear of money wiggled through her life like a vein of thin blue mould in Stilton.” The reader is treated to laugh-out-loud moments generated variously by witty dialogue, sit-com (meeting the French supplier) and almost slap-stick situations (the borrowed Paris flat); parts may well reduce the reader to tears; and many words of wisdom are spoken (often by unexpectedly astute individuals). Kavanagh explores several themes: degrees of separation; settling for second best; fighting for what you believe in; second chances in life; and the existence of a soul mate. Tess tells the reader “Some people make it alone. But they’re the rare ones. They’re the ones made of steel. The rest of us need to find someone to love us and encourage us and keep us safe.” Funny and heart-warming, this is a superb debut novel and readers will, without doubt, look forward to more from Marianne Kavanagh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago