Review of Where Love Lies by Julie Cohen

Published: 12th February 2015
Publisher: Transworld


When Felicity steps off the train on the way to meet her husband, she is so sure of everything. Where she is heading, what she will eat at the restaurant, the first words her husband will say when she arrives, their life together. Then she catches a scent of perfume in the air. Forgotten emotions rush to the surface, memories of another man she loved years ago. As it happens again and again, Felicity begins to make decisions that no one can understand. What is happening to her? Is she losing a part of herself, or finding one? How can she truly know where love lies?


In April, I won a Twitter competition from Julie herself. She very kindly sent me a signed copy of her book as well a gorgeous smell candle. I was in a bit of a reading slump when I received the book so I began it straight away and hallelujah, it was the book!

During the opening chapter, Felicity is reminded of a person who is no longer in her life, which gives her the nudge to begin thinking of things she would say if the circumstances were better. I believed this person to be her Mum, but the narrative proved me wrong. As she meets her husband Quinn, all seems to be quickly forgotten yet from the word go, I wanted to get down to the bottom of the smell.

“I’m sorry. So sorry for what I made you do.”

As a main character, Felicity is constant yet with her acts of randomness, the term ‘split personality’ sprung to mind. This, however, made me continue to enjoy the plot because I was very interested in seeing which direction it would go in. Her other half Quinn was quite the opposite; he was calm, focused on life goals and he knew what he was doing in life. His vision about family was a cry from what readers will expect.

“It’s odd that every relationship we have aside from the first one, is patched together from things we’ve learned already, habits we’re formed with other people.”

The smell which continues to come back to Felicity is about someone she knew around ten years ago and I completely sunk into the whole aspect of a smell reminding you of a person and the memories together. I did, however, feel a little sorry for Quinn as he seemed to go above and beyond for Felicity which wasn’t very well received. The flashbacks were so immensely powerful that they completely took over my mind. Felicity as an older teenager was interesting and a far cry from the adult who floats on thin air in the present narrative. Both fantastic characters yet it made me wonder what happened between those two stages.

“His eyes were this incredible blue, ridiculously blue, as if they’d been coloured in with a swimming-pool-coloured crayon in a brighter hue than the rest of the room.”

Throughout the duration of the narrative, the visuals remained strong and the descriptions of the close-knit village, London and New York plus other places are extremely detailed. There’s not an area which Julie doesn’t cover as a writer. The simplicity of the smell of flowers is vibrate throughout and despite it being such a small element, it works wonders as it’s original and unique. The characters were a pick and mix bunch – all vibrant, all full of different personalities yet at the end of the day, they were family and I loved watching them bond over their daily lives.

“Sometimes friendship means feeling like a berk.”

Overall, the novel is beautiful. There is no other word to describe it and I’m so pleased that I was given the chance to read this extremely wonderful book. It’s full of important life themes which need to be spoken about more often in books. Bravo Julie! I’ll definitely be reading more of her books once they’re available.

Twitter: @julie_cohen


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