Hey guys, today I have the pleasure to take part in the blog tour for Kate Kerrigan’s latest book, IT WAS ONLY EVER YOU. It’s charming tale of love, soul mates and music and if you’re into some sweet romantic reads, this is definitely one to check out. Many thanks to Clare and the rest of the team of Head of Zeus for the review copy and the chance to be part of the blog tour. Enjoy your day, dear readers and see you soon!
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.It Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan
Published by Head of Zeus
Published on 13.7.2017
Genres: historical fiction, historical romance
Buy on amazon.co.uk or Buy on amazon.com
Set, like Maeve Binchy's early bestsellers, in late 1950s Ireland and New York, this is the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.
Patrick Murphy has charm to burn and a singing voice to die for. Many people will recognise his talent. Many women will love him. Rose, the sweetheart he leaves behind in Ireland, can never forget him and will move heaven and earth to find him again, long after he has married another woman. Ava, the heiress with no self-confidence except on the dance floor, falls under his spell. And tough Sheila Klein, orphaned by the Holocaust and hungry for success as a music manager, she will be ruthless in her determination to unlock his extraordinary star quality.
But in the end, Patrick Murphy's heart belongs to only one of them. Which one will it be?
It Was Only Ever You is the first book by Kate Kerrigan and I’ve been so excited about checking it out, especially as it has won the RNA 2017 Historical Novel of the Year Award. Now that I’ve read it, I can say it definitely won’t be my last one by this author. It Was Only Ever You is a charming tale of love, soul mates and music and I devoured it in a day.
The story is set in set in a small village, Foxford in Ireland and New York during the 1950s, the time when rock and roll was just starting to enter the clubs. There are four main characters, something I would usually find overwhelming, however Kate’s beautiful writing style and portraying of her characters made the reading experience so much easier and enjoyable. Of course, there are many more characters in the book, for some there might even be too much to follow, however I had no problems with this. They were all so diverse and each of them added to the story. The main characters are Patrick, Rose, Ava and Sheila and in the book we get to see a bit of each perspective. The book opens in 1941 and we see Sheila living with her aunt and uncle in the States because of the war. She just found out her parents and brother have been killed by the Nazis and at 14 years old, she really does her best to digest this horrible information. Fast forward 17 years, Sheila is a strong independent woman in her 30s, who’s trying to make it into a ‘men’s world’ by becoming a music manager. As we follow her attempts at finding a new talent to work with and get into some of the clubs and dance rooms, we get to really feel her determination and strong will. Patrick and Rose live in a small Irish village, Foxford. Patrick has a beautiful voice and charming looks. He’s in his mid 20s and can have any girl he wants. However, he’s not arrogant, on the contrary, he’s very down to earth when it comes to both his singing talent and looks. Rosa is just finishing school and is the daughter of a well known doctor. She’s also Patrick’s sister best friend and seems to have blossomed into a gorgeous young lady over night. Rosa and Patrick fall in love with each other however Rosa knows her family (pragmatical Dad and snobbish mum) would not approve of plain, artistic Patrick. After a series of events (which I won’t reveal much about as I don’t want to spoil the book for you), Patrick arrives in America, the land where all dreams come true. Some dreams do come true for him, alright, yet some are shattered to pieces.
Ava is the daughter of an influential Irish immigrant. She’s well mannered however very self-conscious. She loves dancing and is a regular at one of the dance rooms. Her life is forever changed when she meets the young, dashing Irish singer, Patrick. Through love, pain and tears all of these four main characters learn about life and their biggest passion – music. It’s their love and passion for music which intertwines their stories and which plays a huge role in the book.
What I loved the most is how through Kate’s beautiful writing and descriptions I was transported in a completely different era, in the 1950s, seeing and feeling the glamour, the fashion, the music genre which was just emerging. I haven’t read a book (at least not recently) where music plays such an important role and I absolutely love how Kate managed to transport me in this time of our history, a time when I wasn’t even born. I could close my eyes and see the big dance rooms (or ball rooms), the musicians on stage, the glamorous couples dancing. As someone who loves the 1950s and 1960s this was truly a great enjoyment. It’s obvious the author did her research well on the life in the States during this period of history and the music industry at the time.
However, this book is not just about music It’s a romance book and there are some very complex relationships to follow. Even the blurb implies there’s a love triangle, so do have this in mind when you pick up this book (as I know many readers don’t like this). There’s also insta love, and I have to say I was slightly bothered by this, but then again..it was 1950s…a completely different type of dating (courting) and some very different social/cultural conditions. While there were some scenes that melted my heart, there were some that left me a bit confused and puzzled. The characters felt a bit over the top in the second part of the book, it seemed like they were all overreacting or reacting rather different to what we now consider ‘normal/usual’. There was loads of drama (sometimes unnecessary) and there were so many stuff happening I was really trying hard to keep track. While I absolutely adored the first half of the book, the second one felt a bit confusing which is the only reason why I’m not giving this book a higher rating.
Overall, this was an enjoyable romantic read and I’ll definitely be reading more by this author. I’m fascinated with Irish fiction and authors and I’m glad I’ve discovered another great Irish author. From Mayo County, Ireland to New York, in the 1950s, Kate takes us into the dance rooms full of glamour and charm. A time when rock and roll was just emerging, when culture was going through a rapid change, through the stories of Patrick, Rose, Ava and Sheila we get to really feel a bit of that 1950s glamour. If you’re looking for a charming romantic read you’ll devour in a day, this is definitely the book for you.