THE OUTLINE OF LOVE is novel written by English author Morgan McCarthy. I have to be honest, I haven't heard about this author before I read this book. I only have this book in my collection for one reason - my housemate got it for me as a birthday present last year. Personally, I wouldn't pick this book in a book store, but I guess after reading the summary on the back she thought I might like it.
Even the critics seems to be impressed with the works of McCarthy:
"Gripping and atmospheric, this as a cracking read. " SUN
"Generously written. " HEAT MAGAZINE
I, personally, after 3 days of active reading, weren't impressed at all. I actually had to schedule my reading time in as I was on a deadline, forcing myself to finish this book.
This story follows Persephone who grew up isolated in Scottish Highlands. She enrolled at university in London and is leaving her boring mundane life behind with her father. Persephone embraces student life, but it's only half contempt.. Pints of alcohol, experiments with drugs, new friendships and possible new romances are not enough to fill the hole of loneliness. Something is still missing. She is lacking a piece of her and something in the life to make it exciting. That is until a famous british novelist returns into town and Persephone is swept away into his life. But Leo is withholding something from her.. There is a dark secret hanging like a black cloud above their heads and Persephone is determined to do anything to keep Leo.
Branded with a label: "It started with obsession." I am expecting a thrilling, gripping story about obsession gone bad. Instead I am left with a boring, over-detailed, cannot-get-into-it, coming of age novel.
Divided in 10 parts, entwined with the good old Ancient Greek myth of Persephone and Hades, this books lacks excitement. Yes, there are parts, when I did laughed out loud. The biggest thing which cracked me up was a description of the term CHAV and people branded by it. But mostly this book is just too descriptive. I am sorry but there is no need to put a simple observation like 'It's windy and I start to shiver.' into a ten sentenced paragraph. To me it feels like the author just discovered Oxford's English Dictionary and decided to use as many words as possible. This book supposed to be written from Persephone's point of view, but let me tell you something. No girl at the precious age of 18 -19 doesn't talked to herself in big words. It's too sophisticated for a girl who just started uni. The author seems to try to achieve some kind of class which is unnecessary.
And the story....well... I am sorry, but this would not happen in the real world. No girl is so desperate and obsessed with a famous person that they go to extreme lengths to infiltrate their lives. I like Chris Pine and Theo James but not in a million years I would try to become friends with their friends in order for me to get close to them. And then the most unbelievable thing happens. Apparently Leo like her back and they start to date. REALLY??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
But not of course we need some sort of distraction from the boring story-telling, so the author decides to spice it up with an incest between half siblings...OH MY GOD!!! I thought that this book cannot get any worse and then Ms McCarthy writes this. I am angry. Fuming. I had to put the book down and have a piece of chocolate. It doesn't end there, when Persephone finds out, she is ok with it. She understands and forgives... Wow.. I am seeing the red light again.. The anger is boiling inside me. Can this character get even more pathetic? When did it happen that an incest become accepted by the society and we decided to write books about it??
Anyways, I am not going to analyse each character because they are all bland figures in a strange story which point I failed to find out.
The only good point about this book is the cover. It's beautiful. I love the black and blue colours and the outlines of London and Scottish Highlands. It the story would be as good and pretty inside and it's the cover on the outside, I would be a happy bunny.
But no.. This is the biggest disappointment of a book I have read in a long time. I just failed to get the grasp on the story, characters and the BIG discovery. I couldn't wait for the story to end so I can put the book back in its place. Which means that this book is permanently moved into a box under my bed where it won't be touched for a long long time.
Sorry Mr McCarthy, but I truly hated your novel. Do better next time. Without an incest please...
The only outtake of the book I liked:
"Camilla, who is proficient at placing people, has explained that the couple next door are what is known as chavs. According to Camilla, a chav is a nylon person bedecked with check patterns, hoop earrings, baseball caps, and unhealthy-looking babies. They hang around in groups, much like hipsters, enos, goths, yards, and the many other bewildering tribes of London she is happy to describe to me. "