*Book Review* The Man I Loved Before – by Anna Mansell.

Dear Ben, I can only write you this letter because I know you’ll never read it…’

When Jem writes to her ex Ben, it’s to explain everything. All the secrets she kept from him – from the little lies she’d sometimes tell about how new those shoes really were, or how many glasses of wine she’d had that evening… right up to The Big Thing that happened on the night that changed everything. But she never expects he will actually see what she’s written.

She is just writing because she thinks it will help to get the words out. Later, she resolves, she’ll burn the letter, and then the past will be in the past for good.

Because Jem is doing fine now. She’s busy: working, spending time with her best friend, and looking after her mother, who’s in remission from cancer. She’s even dating again and has just met a guy who she thinks she could actually fall for. At long last, Jem is really, definitely somewhere close to happy.

But her mum finds the letter and thinks she’s doing Jem a favour when she posts it to Ben. And Jem’s new, carefully rebuilt life begins to unravel in ways she could never have imagined. Then, when her mother gets ill again, she finds herself asking who has the key to her future. The man she’s falling in love with now? Or the man she loved before?

My Thoughts:

If I had to describe this book in one word, it would have to be fabulous.

Throughout this book we follow the story of Jem, a 38 year old woman who, after going through a tough breakup and her mother falling ill finds herself living at home with her mother.

With the encouragement of her best friend Leanne, she decides to try online dating and that is where she meets Mitch – someone who she remembers from her school years.

Their story though is not as straight forward as it may initially seem. I really don’t want to give away too much, but I found myself struggling to put this book down as their journey progressed.

Alcohol also seems to be quite a poignant part of the story, as Jem uses it frequently as a way of coping with lifes difficulties. This is something I’m sure some readers out there will be able to relate to.

But for me, my favourite part of the book was following the close relationships Jem shared with her mother and Leanne, both of which seemed to know Jem better than she knew herself at times.

Beautiful, well written and poignant. Everything you could possibly want from a book. This book is a must read.

I would like to thank Netgalley, Bookouture and Anna Mansell for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.