She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah! It Was Only Ever You is a romantic story about three strong, young women and their relationships with one charming man living in New York City. It’s an engrossing, light and sweet tale that will leave you wondering how it will end and who will wind up with whom.
This story is set in an almost identical place to Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn. It is the 1950s and a time when many Irish people made a passage in order to have a new life in America. Instead of focusing on one main protagonist, Kate Kerrigan frames the story though a group of young people. Her prose is quite light and whimsical at times and for this reason, it occasionally reminds me of Marian Keyes’s work.
Kate Kerrigan’s real name is Morag Prunty and she is a journalist and best-selling author. Her most famous novel is The Dress. In It Was Only Ever You Kerrigan provides a smoking soundtrack and backdrop that takes in jazz, ballads and early rock ‘n’ roll. It is a period when people were just learning how to rock around the clock and they did so with gusto. Kerrigan’s main character, Patrick is a dreamboat by all accounts and a fledgling singer.
Patrick was a poor boy from County Mayo in Ireland. He found love in the form of an artistic, rich girl and Doctor’s daughter named Rose. The pair were besotted but Rose’s parents did not approve of the relationship. Patrick’s head was also filled with big ambitions of his own. He leaves Ireland and goes to New York while his heart pines for Rose and he works a lowly job because he is indebted to his employer. This world is a very different one to that inhabited by a caring socialite named Ava. She is an idealistic girl who is aware that she won’t win any prizes for her looks. Ava remains optimistic however, and continues to frequent the dance halls in the hopes of finding a nice husband.
Shelia is the most interesting character of them all. The orphan of parents who died during the Holocaust, Shelia is the kind of girl who is determined and knows exactly what she wants. Shelia is a vanguard and an inspiration. She is trying to forge her own way in the music industry, a world that is almost exclusively controlled by men. It’s fortunate that Shelia has a nose for talent and she hopes she can discover music’s next big thing.
It Was Only Ever You is like a patchwork quilt of different emotions that show a group of young people falling in and out of love and discovering themselves. This is a story about love, loss and following your dreams and it is set amongst the glamourous New York nightclub scene of yesteryear. The story features some likeable and well-developed characters and the story feels very authentic. It Was Only Ever You is a pleasant book to read not least because it shows a group of fine characters marching to the beat of their own drums.
It Was Only Ever You Paperback – 19 September 2016
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- Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1786691426
- ISBN-13 : 978-1786691422
- Dimensions : 14.7 x 2.9 x 23 cm
- Publisher : Head of Zeus - GB; ANZ Only edition (19 September 2016)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
'A dramatic and all-consuming story about relationships in all of their forms ... A stunning story' Books Of All Kinds. 'A compelling storyline, fascinating and authentic characters, and a realistic setting make this book a must read. A book that will engross you and will stay with you afterwards' Sibzz Reads. 'A delight of a read. It is a pitch-perfect romantic novel where all the characters are as real to me as I am myself' Linda's Book Bag. 'An incredibly well written, colourful and very moving story' Random Things Through My Letterbox. 'Exquisitely written, wonderfully told and riveting from start to finish ... A dazzling page-turner that transports readers back to the past with plenty of style and flair. Kate Kerrigan is a superb storyteller ... One of the year's best books!' Bookish Jottings. 'Kerrigan is such a wonderful story-teller, who can bring her characters to life at the blink of an eye. Enchanting, beautifully written, and perfect to lose yourself in ... A romantic, glistening gem of literary beauty' The Writing Garnet. 'A wonderfully atmospheric novel from an author at the top of her game' Irish Independent. 'No one does lavish vintage romance like Kate Kerrigan ... Emotional drama, with fabulous characters' Daily Mail. 'Ideal read for lovers of historical fiction ... A classic love story with a musical twist' Bleach House Library. 'A beautifully wrought love story ... Kate's style deftly weaves believable characters and romantic longing with the everyday dramas that bind and divide local communities' Irish Daily Star. 'Great drama, fabulous characters, heart-wrenching emotion and period detail galore' Daily Mail.
About the Author
Kate Kerrigan lives in County Mayo, Eire, with her husband and children. Her novels include Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, shortlisted for the 2006 Romantic Novel of the Year Award and Ellis Island, which was a TV Book Club Summer Read.
4.4 out of 5
20 global ratings
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Reviewed in Australia on 6 October 2017
Top reviews from other countries
SuperReviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 July 2017
I really enjoyed the story. It was a bit usual about the Irish going to America hoping to find the streets paved in gold. I don't know if this still happens.
One person found this helpful
Ok read 2 1/2 starsReviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 September 2017
Story was ok but written in an immature way. It didn't flow as well as it could. The ending felt rushed and contrived. I think it would have benefited from a good editor.
Wouldn't have finished if I hadn't been on a plane with nothing else to read!Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 June 2017
The main characters were all pretty weak and unlikeable, flitting around making big decisions on a whim with no real lead up, making this an unsatisfying read. The setting was interesting though and this book could have been so much more.
Five StarsReviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 March 2017
Purchased as a gift - gratefully received.
One person found this helpful