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My Lover's Lover


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A compulsive and haunting tale of the passion, betrayal, sensuality and ambiguity at the heart of shifting metropolitan lives

About the Author

Maggie O'Farrell was born in Northern Ireland in 1972, and grew up in Wales and Scotland. She now lives in London. Her debut novel, AFTER YOU'D GONE, was published to international acclaim, and won a Betty Trask Award. Maggie was picked out by the Independent on Sunday as one of Britain's 20 most promising writers under 30.


O'Farrell's protagonist, Lily, is reminiscent of actress Joan Fontaine in Rebecca and Suspicion, but Lily ultimately lacks the fortitude of either of those women. Subsisting on several part-time jobs, she meets and moves in with architect Marcus, whose girlfriend, Sinead, is "no longer with us." Haunted by Marcus's lost love, Lily sees Sinead everywhere she turns in the loft Marcus once shared with Sinead and tries desperately and without luck to find out how she died. As in After You'd Gone, O'Farrell's acclaimed debut, this novel moves from character to character, laying bare secrets. Instead of a seamless whole, however, O'Farrell delivers several equally unsatisfying and inconclusive stories. Lily's ghostly visions are never adequately dealt with, nor are Marcus's infidelity and obsession. A disappointing follow-up to O'Farrell's first novel.-Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal" Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

'A quietly dramatic dissection of the way past loves can haunt the present' -- The Daily Telegraph 20030111 'MY LOVER'S LOVER is a beautiful, lyrical, haunting tale of a girlfriend obsessed by her lover's feelings towards the woman who came before her' -- Daily Express 20021228 '!an emotional whirlwind, all passionate yearnings, raw pain and messy truths; powerful in nailing the complications of love without missing it out the power of the emotions involved' -- The Scotsman 20030111 'Beautifully written' -- Heat 20030125 'This Rebecca-esque ghost story puts at its heart the gnawing insecurities that any act of intimacy soon invites' -- The Independent 20030111 'O'Farrell's writing has a crystalline precision of idiom - there isn't one image that fails to ignite recognition' -- Independent on Sunday 20030119 'An intense, unnerving and passionate story of betrayal, loss and love in the past and present' -- Sunday Mirror 20030119 'O'Farrell has honourably equalled the success of her first novel, After You'd Gone, with a story that is certainly as absorbing - and just as beautifully written' -- Sunday Express 20021229

British writer O'Farrell turns a deceptively simple romantic novel into an engrossing story of psychological suspense. Lily, a young Londoner, meets Marcus, an architect, at an art opening, and they fall for each other. Within a week, she's moved into his loft, which he also shares with Aidan, a film animator. Lily takes over a room once occupied by Marcus's ex-girlfriend, Sinead. Marcus says very little about Sinead, except that "she's no longer... with us," causing Lily to wonder if perhaps she's dead. As Lily and Marcus become more deeply involved, Lily becomes obsessed with Sinead's fate and thinks she sees her everywhere; especially disconcerting are Sinead's spectral appearances while Lily and Marcus are making love. Then one day, Lily stumbles across the real Sinead and attempts to question her about her relationship with Marcus. Sinead flees, but Lily tracks her down; she finds that Sinead is a lecturer in English literature, and finally gets her to tell why she broke up with Marcus. Sinead's story makes up the second part of the book, chronicling the onset and passionate height of their five-year affair and her discovery that he was an inveterate philanderer. Lily realizes that her relationship with Marcus has been unhealthy; now it's her turn to flee. In the book's final major section, Aidan falls in love with Sinead and a strange turn of events finds three of the characters in Australia. O'Farrell's premise-a woman's curiosity about her lover's former relationship-is somewhat commonplace. What makes her novel distinctive is the supernatural element, which she manages well, suggesting that Lily's subconscious will save her in the end. O'Farrell's debut, After You'd Gone, won a Betty Trask Award. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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