“Sometimes it’s hard to see, through the smoke and mirrors, the toxicity.“
Roxanna C. Revell ~ Because of Hattie
Ava Swan’s life had always been simple – until she fell in love. Big love. Epic love. Epic sex… Love; a common, yet utterly complicated emotion that brought her a happiness that she never thought possible – until it ripped her world apart.
Turning to the sanctuary of her parents at their home in the idyllic village of Clovelly; Ava starts to put the pieces of her life back together. Her life, and that of the baby that she keeps hidden from her past.
New love arrives and Ava believes that she has truly moved on. Only, the past always has a way of catching up with you.
When Mark returns to Ava’s life, so to do the feelings that she buried deep inside, and when the new love she found, and the new life she created, is revealed to have been built on lies; danger follows, along with a whole new level of pain and despair.
It’s enough to break you, but sometimes it can make you – and all of this, because of Hattie…
Having loved Revell’s book The Beneath, I was curious to read her debut Because of Hattie as I’d heard it was very different from he subsequent books.
That it was. But it was still uniquely brilliant. A lot of books still seem to cling onto the idea of Prince Charming coming along to sweep us girls off our feet. But love isn’t like that. It’s complicated, messy and rarely conventional!
In Because of Hattie we have one such unconventional relationship. Ava falls in love and in doing so loses her friends and her job, forcing her to move out of London and back home with her parents, who are the only ones who stick by her.
What follows is a rollercoaster of a ride. Ava tries to adapt to being in a small town and move on with her life. She even manages to find someone new, although she’s not in love with them in the same way as before.
Revell manages to weave a mystery around the story, choosing to reveal the plot gradually and in a unique order so we’re never sure what to expect. There’s anger, betrayal and manipulation, not to mention psychological trauma. Yet amidst all of this dark subject matter, there is love. True love. But it’s tackled so well that it isn’t contrived, or shocking. It’s real. The sex is powerful, but beautiful.
At times I was an emotional wreck, as it tugged on my heartstrings when I least expected it. Without realising I had become totally invested in the characters.
At first Ava seems weak, but she is actually strong, feisty and loyal. She’s the kind of person everyone would be lucky to have as a friend. It was also a nice change to have a main character who loved and respected both of her parents. Her father Jonathan is the dream dad – protective, charming and devoted to his family. Even Hattie was appealing in her own way; we all have a bit of her inside us, which makes her relatable, yet pitiable.
The ending was the perfect balance between drama and suspense, with plenty of hope and tragedy thrown in for good measure.
It’s been a while since I stayed up late to finish a book but it was definitely worth it as I’m still thinking about it now!
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