Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Review: I Remember You by Harriet Evans

I Remember YouI Remember You by Harriet Evans centers on Adam and Tess who grew up together in the small English town of Langford.  They were very close growing up and everyone in the town imagined that they would become a couple as adults.  As they moved into adolescence, they made good on those expectations and romance began between the two young residents of Langford.  However, Tess ultimately flees Langford to pursue her education at University and settles into life in London while Adam stays in Langford and deals with the sudden death of his mother.

As the books begins, however, Tess returns to Langford looking for a break from city life and trying to recapture some of the joy of living in a small town which she remembers from her childhood. She takes a job at the local university teaching classics and settles into the slow pace of the local country life.  Local country life, however, begins to lose some of its patina as Tess deals with limited social options, nosy neighbors and few of the conveniences to which she had become accustomed in London. 

While Tess tries to adjust to life in Langford, Adam is muddling through in almost exactly the same place Tess left him years earlier.  He has never left Langford and seems stuck.  Adam and Tess have a number of near misses in the relationship departments after Tess returns - they clearly care about each other but they are both ambivalent about getting back together.  When Tess takes her classics class to Rome for a week and is swept off her feet by an American journalist living in Rome, things turn upside down for her and Adam. While she falls for the American journalist, heretofore hidden parts of Adam's past are discovered which have both she and Adam questioning what they thought they knew about the past.

My Thoughts
This is my first novel by Harriet Evans and I have seen many of her books reviewed around the blogs.  I am a big fan of Brit Chick Lit; this book fits that bill perfectly and I did enjoy it but there were elements of it that did not sit well with me.  There were scenes and plot lines that didn't seem to serve any real purpose and even characters (Francesca comes to mind) where I was unsure why they were even in the book.  This may have been what contributed to my feeling that the book was about 100 pages too long - I think the book would have hung together much better after editing out some unnecessary scenes.  Because what was left, was very good - the main characters were well-developed and the main storyline was engaging.   I will definitely try other books by this author because she has such a strong following, especially by readers whose opinions I trust.

For other reviews  (some of whom really liked the book) of I Remember You check out:
Write Meg
S. Krishna

Thank you to Tricia from Media Muscle for providing this book for review.


  1. I really liked Going Home by Harriet Evans, but just couldn't get into Hopeless Romantic. This sounds a bit more like Going Home thematically so I'll have to give it a try!

  2. Oh, I adored this novel! I do agree that it was a bit long -- and felt that way at many points -- but I loved Tess and Adam's story so much. Thanks for linking to me, too!

  3. I haven't read Harriet Evans wither (I think I have The Time of Her Life on my shelf), but I'm a big fan of Katie Fforde, my favorite British chick lit author. I still need to read her last two novels too!