Hannah and Si are in love and on the same track – that is, until their train divides on the way to a wedding. The next morning, Hannah wakes up in Paris and realises that her boyfriend (and her ticket) are 300 miles away in Amsterdam!
But then Hannah meets Léo on the station platform, and he’s everything Si isn’t. Spending the day with him in Paris forces Hannah to question how well she really knows herself – and whether, sometimes, you need to go in the wrong direction to find everything you’ve been looking for…
Uncoupling is a lovely uncomplicated book which transports you to some wonderful places in Europe, but primarily to romantic Paris. The perfect lockdown read we find ourselves transported to the centre of Paris discovering the sites, the streets and the delicious cuisine.
Hannah and Si find themselves separated after their train ‘uncouples’, one half going to Amsterdam and the other to Paris. Hannah finds herself stranded in Paris with no extra clothes or money. She meets a frenchman at the Station called Léo who helps her out of a very sticky situation. With some time to kill until their train departs to Amsterdam, Léo shows Hannah around Paris on his friend’s motorbike and it is during the course of the day she takes the time to reflect on her life, career and relationship.
The writing is good and in particular the author’s descriptions of Paris are wonderful. Some of the dialogue felt a little bit stilted but generally it flowed well, it’s easy to read and absorbing and I wanted to keep reading to get to the bottom of what Si was up to.
Most of the novel is centred around the main protagonists Hannah and Léo. Whilst Léo is a very likeable character, he’s calm, thoughtful, sensible and his kindness really shines through, I didn’t particularly resonate with Hannah. She’s far too negative and at times I found her extremely frustrating. Here is a character that really needed to let herself go, have fun and embrace the situation instead of grumbling it’s too early for wine and following Léo ‘begrudgingly’ to a wonderful viewpoint. I know the author is trying to get across her insecurities and confidence issues but she came across as unappreciative and a tad ungrateful. I did enjoy reading about Hannah’s passion for photography, this brought her otherwise bland character to life and I liked the scene when she is enthusiastically explaining to Léo how to use her camera, demonstrating her love of photography.
The romance is a bit lack lustre, it’s very innocent and kept to the minimum, presumably because Hannah is still in a relationship. I really would have liked to have seen a bit more chemistry between them, particularly as the story unfolds.
Despite my little niggle with Hannah’s negativity, this is otherwise a delightful debut novel with a lovely and unusual storyline. Located in a fabulous setting, which the author obviously knows well, we are treated to some beautiful and vivid descriptions of the tourist spots as well as some lovely places off the beaten track. The gentle romance unfolds subtly throughout the story and it was lovely for Hannah to find happiness in the end.
Publication Date: 18 February 2021
Page Count: 264
Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊