Title: The Two of Us
Author: Andy Jones
Publication Date: 12 February 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Rating: 4 out of 5
Falling in love is the easy part. What matters most is what happens next....
Fisher and Ivy have been an item for a whole nineteen days. And they just know they are meant to be together. The fact that they know lttle else about each other is a minor detail. Over the course of twelve months, in which their lives will change forever, Fisher and Ivy discover that falling in love is one thing, but staying there is an entirely different story.
The Two of Us is a charming, honest and heart-breaking novel about life, love, and the importance of taking neither one for granted.
I first heard about this book after being invited to the Books & The City Spring Bloggers Evening where Andy Jones was listed as a speaker. When I received the invitation, I jumped onto my computer and purchased this book.
The story tracks the progression of Fisher and Ivy's relationship throughout the first twelve months of their relationship, through the highs and the lows, from the initial feelings of excitment and lust, to the dizzying feeling of being out of their depth when things become too serious too soon.
The book also contains a touching side-story between Fisher and his old school friend, El. El is suffering from a degenerative condition that is slowly robbing him of his life, his freedom and his personality. The author writes about this issue with a great deal of insight and sensitivity, focusing just the right amount of attention on this sub-plot which, in turn, gives the reader a short and much-needed break from the main Fisher/Ivy story.
With regards to the characters, I liked Fisher but really wanted to give him a shake and tell him to 'man up' at times. I found that I actually disliked Ivy throughout most of the book, however I think this is more because I am used to being told the main character's thoughts and motivations, whereas on this occasion we are given no first-hand insight into Ivy's behaviour which makes it harder to connect with her as a person. This gave a great unknown dimension to the story. Despite the story being about Fisher and Ivy, El was a real scene-stealer and probably my favourite character in the book, facing his impending death with such a sense of stoicism and humour.
Having this genre story written from the male perspective is somewhat unusual and it works exceptionally well. I also found it interesting that in a lot of women's literature, the focus is on how the two characters get together, whereas this story focuses on what happens to the relationship after that point. This gives the book a unique quality and made me want to read more.
As the story progressed, despite my initial dislike of Ivy, I felt myself desperately wanting to read about a happy ending for Fisher.
The story progresses in such a way that I found it difficult to predict how it would conclude. Would there be a happy ending for Fisher and Ivy or would they realise that they are too different and simply not meant to be together?
This was an honest, touching and funny book about friendship, love and life. The writing is both witty and touching in equal measures. I laughed in parts, I cried in other parts (fortunately not whilst reading in public on the train!) and I found it really hard to put down once I started reading. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to others.
Amazon UK: Kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00MZAS05A
Amazon US: Kindle: http://amzn.com/B00MZAS05A
Barnes & Noble: Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/two-of-us-ruth-lee-jones/1111655028?ean=9781501109522
About the Author
Andy Jones lives in London with his wife and two little girls. During the day he works in an advertising agency; at weekends and horribly early in the mornings, he writes fiction.
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