- Paperback: 316 pages
- Publisher: Joanne Nicholson (13 June 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0648566501
- ISBN-13: 978-0648566502
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 340 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 239,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Only the Lonely Paperback – 20 May 2019
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"I thoroughly enjoyed this story from start to finish! This was extremely well plotted out and different from any story I have read." Laura Wilkinson, England
"I truly enjoyed this story. I couldn't put it down. It's wasn't predictable or formulaic and ended really well." Sally Trethewy, Australia
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
From the blurb, I was expecting a Jodi Picoult-style ethical dilemma novel, and from about halfway through the story it briefly is. However the true focus of Only the Lonely is less the issue of whether Tiffany should implant her sibling embryo, but of how she copes with her sudden bereavement and whether she can find a way to embrace life again after her loss. I would have enjoyed more prominence on the embryo court case earlier in the story, as I felt that was the main conflict in the book and was waiting for it to emerge.
For the majority of the story, we follow Tiffany through approximately a year of her life – from the joy of her 18th birthday celebration, through the loss of her parents and her subsequent journey through the grief stages, two important court cases, and finally to some sort of acceptance and moving-on, as the court cases conclude and Tiffany begins to look to a future without her parents’ deaths overshadowing her every decision.
This is ultimately a novel of personal growth, including some ethical issues (What is justice for a life taken too soon? Whose rights take priority: parent, embryo, or ‘guardian’?), some romance, and lots of anger and sorrow. The writing is simple and direct, showing the reader Tiffany’s thoughts and feelings as she attempts to navigate this difficult life crisis, and the hope that once the initial turmoil subsides a new purpose can emerge.
Whilst I empathised with Tiffany’s situation, I found her something of a difficult character to empathise with, as she seems quite cold and distant from the feelings and experiences of others around her, and only really relates to others through their meeting of her own feelings and needs. This is quite possibly a result of the tragedy affecting her character, but as it happens very early in the story (meaning we don’t get to know her beforehand), it created a distance for me, that prevented me from fully experiencing the full emotional heartbreak of the events described.
This would make a great book club pick, for the issues it covers (justice, revenge, abortion, IVF), as there is plenty to discuss and some strong views are expressed through the course of the story. Fans of dilemma-novels will also enjoy this, as long as they are prepared for the build-up beforehand!
Dave and Sandra wrapped Tiffany in a double hug and each of them kissed her cheek simultaneously. The ‘Tiffany Sandwich’ was what they had called their group hug since she was a toddler. Tiffany cringed as she tried to extricate herself from her parents’ embrace. She didn’t want to hurt them, but as an adult, she didn’t really want her friends seeing her squished between her parents.
– Joanne Nicholson, Only the Lonely
Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog
I read the book description for Only the Lonely, and jumped at the chance to be on the blog tour as it was just so unique! There are so many consequences (both positive and negative) to the many decisions to the various characters that occur throughout the course of the novel.
Tiffany loses both of her parents on the night of her eighteenth birthday. Losing parents at a young age is tough (I lost my father at nineteen) and worse yet is that she is an only child, and she basically has no one. As she works to come to terms with the cause of her parents’ death and works to move on, facing a legal battle, she discovers that that there is a frozen embryo frozen from when her parents did IVF to have her. In essence, this embryo could have been her twin. She decides she wants to be impregnated with the embryo, and thus begins a second legal battle for Tiffany to deal with.
I don’t know if embryos are actually kept long term in fertility clinics, but if they did I could see this situation possibly happen as the first generation of IVF babies are now becoming adults.
The chapters are short and Only the Lonely is a quick read that will have you thinking about everything that happens throughout the novel. I connected with Tiffany and was rooting for her to win her case. She faces a roller coaster of emotions throughout the novel and we see her grow over the course of the story. I would not have been able to make the decision she did at nineteen years old and face everything that she did. The novel also shows the side of the fertility clinic, the court case and the media spectacle that erupts due to the uniqueness of the situation.
I never lost interest in Only the Lonely as I wanted to know what was going to happen and how the judge’s decision would affect Tiffany for the rest of her life no matter what the decision was. Unfortunately, I could not give the novel five stars due to a direction the novel goes with a friendship that Tiffany develops. I could see everything but that friendship happening in reality.
This novel is recommended and after reading about the other novels Nicholson has written, I will be reading more by her.
**I received a copy as a part pf the blog tour that I chose to review. **
The characters in this novel were deeply rounded and realistic. Joanne Nicholson created characters that are put in a situation and react in ways that I may or may not have agreed with, but it was thought-provoking. I’m not sure how I would react in the situation Tiffany was in, and I’m glad I’ll never have to know.
Only the Lonely is a very compelling, thought-provoking novel with unique themes. There are interesting ethical questions that come about, and it makes you really wonder what you would do in such a situation. I recommend checking it out if you like emotionally charged novels.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of a blog tour with Rachel's Random Resources. All opinions are my own.*