PLOT: 4/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 3.5/5 CHARACTERS: 4.5/5 OVERALL: 4/5
“Good women are not a rewards system for silly men.”― Mhairi McFarlane, Mad About You
Mhairi McFarlane is best known for her cute romances, and being a romance buff, I had come across her name many times. But somehow, it was only recently that I got a chance to pick up her latest, Mad About You.
Born in Scotland in 1972, Mhairi, whose name is pronounced as Vah-Ree, turned to writing fiction after a brief stint in journalism. Since, I had heard only good things about the author and her books, as could be expected, I was quite excited to read this one. And truly, the experience turned out to be a good one.
Plot summary of Mad About You
Harriet Hatley is a popular and well-established wedding photographer whose notions of love are in stark contrast with her career. She simply doesn’t understand romance and hates the very idea of marriage.
She has been in a steady 2-year-old relationship with her boyfriend but when he proposes marriage, she panics, eventually leading to a breakup. Now, not only Harriet is single but she also needs a place to live.
On the other hand, she meets Cal Clarke, who unlike herself, is a hopeless romantic who has had his own wedding disaster. He is a guy who stood his fiancée up at the altar, minutes before the ceremony. Now single too, he has a place that Harriet desperately needs.
As they both start living together, Cal and Harriet form an unlikely bond going from strangers to roommates to friends. Even better, they become great support for each other as they both try to navigate their uncertain future, leaving their old lives behind.
But when a toxic and dreaded past comes to haunt Harriet, leaving her career, friendship, and reputation in jeopardy, she must stand up for herself and risk her future to share the truth. She must learn to unburden herself and finally let go of the trauma that has gripped her until now.
“The only advice people ever take is the advice they want to hear.”
― Mhairi McFarlane, Mad About You
Though the cover might convey something different, Mad About You is more of a women’s fiction than a romance.
In Harriet, we see a woman who has undergone a lot of emotional abuse and gaslighting. We see a woman who despite her hardships, finally finds the courage to stand up for herself.
And this somewhat redeems her too. The way her character grows and develops, navigating life issues and battling everyday challenges, is surely a treat to read.
On the other hand, Cal’s character is this cute charming man who comes to rescue Harriet in a very subtle but not-so-overpowering way.
As a reader though, you end up wishing for a romance that is much more carefree and open, and which spells into action. It isn’t sufficient to just read their thoughts about love and how they feel about each other, the reader in me craved more. That being said, the kind of love that you witness in Mad About You feels genuine and warm, and uplifting, if not deeply passionate.
The only issue for me was the first 1/3rd of the book. It took me a lot of time to get to the story, but the last 1/3rd was very powerful and quite eventful, to say the least. The kind of women empowerment we witness is just superb and I found myself rooting for the characters throughout.
I won’t get much into the details for the fear of giving away the story. But am sure, fans of Mhairi McFarlane will love her latest release.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy Mad About You using the link below.