A simply beautiful love story with a message about taking a chance

The CoincidenceThe Coincidence by Felice Stevens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is simply beautiful.

Buried deep is a story of traumatic loss reaching back to the Second World War, when Nazi Germany was determined to wipe out anything that didn’t conform to its twisted ideals and whole communities were wiped out in moments.

Felice Stevens draws on her own family history to give this gorgeous romance, between two Jewish men brought up in wildly different circumstances, a pathos that isn’t often found in narratives of this type and it adds layers of feeling.

Coby and Eli are opposites, one out and proud but trampled on by a shitty ex who treated him like dirt, the other a virgin and only just taking his first steps into admitting his sexuality.

It’s almost impossible from more than eight decades later, to be able to put yourself back in those days but as we get to know the characters and their families, we see how life’s experiences can fundamentally change the way emotional connections develop.

In a world of coincidences, which may just be fate, Coby’s best friend sets him up on a blind date with Eli.

Everything about their slow burn falling in love worked for me. From Eli’s hesitant first steps, to Coby fearing he’d not be enough, their journeys are shaped by their experiences at home.

Coby has had love and acceptance from his family, while Eli and his brother Darren have never met their father’s expectations.

But, as the narrative unfolds, we get more clues behind this behaviour and by the end, I felt perhaps a bit more of an understanding for why that was the case, even if I didn’t forgive it.

The romance itself is just the type I love, there’s no real angsting once Coby and Eli have talked. Their slow fall into love is depicted with ease by Felice and there’s a great bunch of secondary characters hanging around to bring a touch of lightness.

It’s difficult to express just what captivated me in this book but a lot of it is to do with the cultural heritage found throughout.

I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for a Jewish family in the 1930s, but I can understand totally the need to hold to those traditions and values that were so nearly lost forever.

The premise which shines through this book is simple – to find that other being who just makes life that little bit more special and to hold them tight because not everyone gets that chance.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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