Another week, another debut! This weeks deb is When We Were Young by Jaclyn Goldis.
This one is a love story – more than one love story. In fact, it’s an exploration of all sorts of different love stories. Ones that span decades, ones that cross religious lines, ones that are stifled and then rebloom, ones that are based on deceit – all sorts.
Then there’s the time shifts – love in pre-war Corfu, love as a teenager and as an adult. But despite all these ingredients – which could be confusing and unappetising, what you actually get is a story that unravels beautifully.
I’ll admit that I didn’t like the boy who got chosen by the main character Joey (I was rooting for the other guy!) but it made sense for the book. Few of the characters are entirely likeable, and they all make mistakes, some worse than others, but it feels very real for that. There’s nothing saccharine about this love story.
I very much enjoyed the backdrops, Florida and Corfu – especially Corfu. I studied Jewish history at university but I had no idea of the history behind the Jewish population of Corfu and what happened to them in the second world war. I mean, I knew, because we all know or at least should, but their story was told well and heartbreakingly.
These sorts of books aren’t usually my go to, but this series of reviews is definitely opening my eyes to new genres…this is an author I’d definitely return to!