Release Date: May 2, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 2 bookmarks
Synopsis: On the cusp of turning fifty, Adam Sharp likes his life. He’s happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT.
But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been: his blazing affair more than twenty years ago with an intelligent and strong-willed actress named Angelina Brown who taught him for the first time what it means to find—and then lose—love. How different might his life have been if he hadn’t let her walk away?
And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously?
* This book was provided by BookSparks in exchange for an honest review.
‘The Best of Adam Sharp’ is essentially a romance novel detailing Adam Sharp’s 22 year frustrated love affair with Angelina Brown. Brown and Sharp meet and immediately fall hard for each other, separate due to their inabilities to make a commitment, and reunite 22 years later for an exploratory week-long tryst in France. Will Adam and Angelina finally be together? Should they? Simsion creates a complicated setting for Adam and Angelina to to decode and explore during their week in France abounding with the sensual delights of a gorgeous villa, fine foods and world class booze, intense sexual attraction - and Angelina’s husband, Charlie.
My most deeply felt gripe with the book is the flat characterization of Angelina during the torrid week in France and her use and abuse. While Simsion’s intentions were probably to explore the complicated psyche of relationships, it felt more like an excuse for the writer to indulge in rape fantasies. I felt abused and ripped off, as the reader, as the novel’s inhabitants lost character and wallowed in exhibitionism and voyeurism. Yes, Simsion attempted to weave those themes throughout the book to make the France scene work but it was unbelievable and worse.
Graeme Simsion is clearly a talented writer and ‘The Best of Adam Sharp’ was a delight to read - for a while. Much of the subsequent plot was unbelievable and parts of it offensive. Female characters were never well developed. The music theme became wooden. The final ending, wrapping everyone in the ribbon of personal growth, lacked credibility. I really wanted to love ‘The Best of Adam Sharp’ and got excited by great writing at its start. Too bad the rest of the novel did not live up to its promise.