Book Review: The No-Show by Beth O’Leary

Hi Folks!

I am just back from a week’s family holiday in sunny Spain. It was HOT and pretty exhausting, as holidays with young kids can be. Much fun was had by all though.

I am glad to be home though, to cooler weather and a bit of quiet. The place we stayed was pretty busy and, whilst I’ve always been a bit of an introvert, covid lockdowns have made me even more out of my comfort zone around a lot of people.

So I’m back, and I am looking forward to diving back into the world of books. I didn’t have a lot of time to read whilst away, the days of firing through 5 books a week are long gone! I managed to finish this one book though so I thought I’d write a little post-holiday review.

The Book:

The No-Show starts off with three separate women being stood up on Valentine’s Day, one at breakfast, one at lunch, one at a party in the evening. What do they have in common? Well, the stander-upper – Joseph Carter.

Siobhan is a successful and driven woman who lives in Dublin with her best friend Fiona. She has a casual arrangement with Joseph who she meets on the last Friday of every month when she’s in London for work. Events in Siobhan’s past mean that she prefers to keep people at a distance, but she finds herself falling for Joseph, which wasn’t the plan.

Miranda and Carter have been seeing each other a little while when he stands her up for their Valentines lunch. She likes him…but can tell he’s keeping things from her. She tries not to let it bother her, but gradually his secrets come to the surface.

Jane has found comfort in the structure and routine of her life in Winchester after she escaped her former life in London. She and Joseph meet in a local bakery and have so much in common that they instantly become friends. But Jane’s feelings for Joseph grow, just as events in London start to catch up with her.

My thoughts

I read Beth O’Leary’s debut, The Flatshare, not too long after it came out. It was a really charming book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When Netgalley added audiobooks, The Switch was made available as a ‘Listen Now’ to kick things off, so I listened to that. The talent of the voice actors on that one perhaps enhanced the experience, as I found the plot itself was a little on the dull side. It was still enjoyable though, with the same charm that the previous book had.

I read ‘The Road Trip’ hoping for another dose of the comforting charm and humour from the earlier books but honestly, I was really disappointed. I just didn’t like the characters or invest in their story at all.

So I wasn’t too sure how I’d get on with The No-Show but decided to give it a go anyway.

For me, this is a return to the quality of The Flat-share. I really enjoyed the way O’Leary structured this book, playing around with the reader’s expectations. The characters were sympathetic and I enjoyed seeing how their stories played out. There were some great reveals along the way that, whilst not entirely surprising, still kept the story interesting.

I think this was a perfect book to read on holiday. It was an engaging read; I certainly would have finished it even quicker if I’d had more free time. The switch between the three POVs of Siobhan, Miranda and Jane kept the pace going as we learned a little more about each woman in their respective parts. I was emotionally invested enough to shed a few tears towards the end!

If you enjoyed O’Leary’s previous works, then you’ll no doubt enjoy this too. It’s a romantic drama with some clever plotting that has stood out for me against similar books.

VERDICT: Recommended

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