Book Review: The Idea of Love by Patti Callahan Henry

Title: The Idea of Love
Author: Patti Callahan Henry
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: June 23rd 2015
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary

As we like to say in the south: "Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story."

Ella's life has been completely upended. She's young, beautiful, and deeply in love—until her husband dies in a tragic sailing accident while trying save her. Or so she'll have everyone believe. Screenwriter Hunter needs a hit, but crippling writers' block and a serious lack of motivation are getting him nowhere. He's on the look-out for a love story. It doesn't matter who it belongs to.

When Hunter and Ella meet in Watersend, South Carolina it feels like the perfect match, something close to fate. In Ella, Hunter finds the perfect love story, full of longing and sacrifice. It's the stuff of epic films. In Hunter, Ella finds possibility. It's an opportunity to live out a fantasy – the life she wishes she had because hers is too painful. And more real. Besides. what's a little white lie between strangers?

But one lie leads to another, and soon Hunter and Ella find themselves caught in a web of deceit. As they try to untangle their lies and reclaim their own lives, they feel something stronger is keeping them together. And so they wonder: can two people come together for all the wrong reasons and still make it right?

“There is no ‘we’ anymore. Not you and me anyway.”

I want to thank Patti Callahan Henry for giving us this book for our honest review. I ABSOLUTELY feel in love with the characters and the story line. The story begins with Ella Flynn finding out that her husband Sims has cheated on her. But the pain is intensified when Flynn confesses that he is in love with Betsy who is Ella’s best friend (Amber) younger sister! This part in the read had me going crazy. The thought of finding out that your husband has cheated on you with someone so close is hurtful on so many different levels!! This is only the beginning of Ella’s misery and torture. Her husband decides to kick her out of their home and allow Betsy to move in. This part made me extremely angry as I felt Ella left without really fighting for her belongings and home. However, who I am to judge the pain she must have been feeling. 

While being forced to live in the “Crumbling Chateau” Ella feels lost, hopeless, and desperate. She can’t imagine her life without Flynn and the comforts of their home. But things begin to turn around when Ella meets Hunter Adderman (aka Blake Hunter) a writer from L.A. that has recently failed on several screen writings. Hunter is in Watersend searching for his next big hit; a love story that will make his comeback as a writer a huge success. But lying to Ella is the only way he can get his story and not look suspicious for asking her for help in learning about historical and local attractions.  Yes lies… this book is filled with fibs and more fibs. Ella tells (Hunter) that she has lost her husband to a heroic failed attempt of her rescue after she falls out of a boat. And this is only the beginning of lies being webbed into this wonderful love story. 

The lies continue with both Ella and (Hunter) trying to redefine themselves in the mix of their chaotic pasts and current life situation. The read goes on to allow the reader to fully understand the strong connection that has developed in Ella and (Hunter) throughout their escapades. As much as they both try to move on after their days together, it’s almost impossible to forget the feelings that were developed. Flynn goes back to L.A. and finishes the epic love story that is due to be a huge success and Ella returns home to Sims and attempts to put the past behind them. But nothing is the same since they left one another. They each still feel the void and are left with so many unanswered questions. Will Ella and (Hunter) give in to their undoubtable connection? Can Ella really be able to forgive Sims? Or will Ella and (Hunter) be the characters of this awesome love story full of lies? I do not want to give too much away, but I can assure you that this is a great quick read that will have you smiling from ear to ear!

Patti Callahan Henry is a phenomenal story teller who uses honesty, heartbreaking plots, and inspirational characters. I absolutely fell in love with mostly all of the characters in this read. Especially Ella’s crazy corky neighbor Mimi who kept things fresh, exciting, and most importantly hilariously funny! Mimi was full of color and wisdom just like a strong motherly figure that Ella so craved. She quietly made Ella get out of her comfort zone and seek true happiness and love. I will definitely be reading more of Patti’s books in the future and I look forward to getting a glimpse of her future novels.


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