I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published June 4th 2021
Don't meditate under a cat
After her husband cheats on her with her best friend, Claire finds herself divorced and booted out of the business she helped to build. But she's not alone because her ex has given her their cat, Sukie, who refuses all offers of affection and keeps getting stuck up a tree. As her ex, Ben prepares to have a baby with his new girlfriend, Claire takes to comfort eating and starts having panic attacks. Finally her mum steps in and suggests a mindfulness course, where Claire sees that she isn't the only one with problems. Meanwhile her neighbour, Jack, is single with a puppy, but brings plenty of baggage of his own.
I was expecting a run of the mill rom-com, but That Certain Spark is more about self-love than romance, which made a change. What's more, it managed to talk about self-love and mental health without being schmaltzy or romanticising the situation. Claire doesn't get any easy answers, and by the end of the book, she still has some work to do. There are some very sad moments, which could be difficult for readers who have recently gone through bereavement, but also a few laughs. There is also both a cat and a cute dog in this one.
That Certain Spark is a beautifully written novel about a young woman going through some tough times, told with a mixture of sadness and humour. It reminded me of It's Been A Pleasure Noni Blake by Claire Christian, an Australian novel which I realise I haven't gotten around to reviewing yet, but trust me, if you like this one, you'll love that one too.
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Olivia Shaw, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Published: May 28, 2021