May’d To Love – 3 books on the power of love and friendship

When one funeral led to another; two exes, one big secret, let the games begin; a letter writing workshop, five strangers, countless secrets bursting in between the pages — diverse themes with love as the guiding light. Take in these three books slowly, one at a time – there is much wisdom to be gained about love this May.

The Black Dress (Headline). By Deborah Moggach

Pru is on her own. But then, so are plenty of other people. And while the loneliness can be overwhelming, surely she’ll find a party somewhere?

Pru’s husband has walked out, leaving her alone to contemplate her future. She’s missing not so much him, but the life they once had nestling up like spoons in the cutlery drawer as they sleep. Now there’s just a dip on one side of the bed and no one to fill it.

In a daze, Pru goes off to a friend’s funeral. Usual old hymns, words of praise and a eulogy but… it doesn’t sound like the friend Pru knew. She’s gone to the wrong service. Everyone was very welcoming, it was more excitement than she’s had for ages.

So she buys a little black dress in a charity shop and thinks, now I’m all set, why not go to another? I mean, people don’t want to make a scene at a funeral, do they? No one will challenge her, and what harm can it do?

Deborah Moggach is a British novelist and an award-winning screenwriter. She has written twenty novels, including “Tulip Fever”, “These Foolish Things” (which became the bestselling novel and film “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ with an ensemble cast including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Dev Patel and was mostly shot in Jaipur and Udaipur), and “The Carer”. She lives in London.

The Fake Up (Sphere). By Justin Myers

Dylan and Flo are in love. The only trouble is, they broke up months ago and everyone was delighted for them.

At first, it’s exciting sneaking around, hiding from disapproving friends, climbing through bedroom windows to avoid family, and concocting hilarious disguises. It’s like “Romeo and Juliet”, with more sex and less poison.

But soon it becomes harder to separate truth from lies. Dylan and Flo are way over their heads, and the games have only just begun.

Justin Myers is a writer from Shipley, Yorkshire, who now lives in London. After years working in journalism, he began his popular blog The Guyliner in 2010. Justin spent five years writing dating and giving relationship advice for Gay Times, before joining British GQ as a weekly columnist in 2016. His work has appeared in a number of publications including the Guardian, The i, Sunday Times Style and the Irish Times.

The Little French Bookshop (Hodder and Stoughton). By Cecile Pivot

When French bookseller Esther loses her father, she decides to place an ad in a newspaper, inviting struggling readers to join her secret letter writing workshop.

To Esther’s surprise, applications pile in by the dozens – and before long, an elderly lady, a disillusioned businessman, a disheartened couple and an awkward teenager find themselves sharing stories, seeking advice, and forging new friendships.

As Esther’s students uncover the hopes, dreams and fears that were hiding behind the pen, Esther, too, finds herself thrown into a new world full of unexpected adventures.

Cecile Pivot is a highly successful journalist and passionate author of non-fiction. “The Little French Bookshop” is her second novel.

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