Twenty-One Truths About Love might very well be a unique book – it’s certainly the only one I’ve read written in this format. The entire story is told through lists, written by Dan Mayrock. Dan is the owner of A New Chapter, a bookshop which isn’t doing very well and he doesn’t know how to tell his wife Jill. He obsessively writes lists about what’s going on in his life, perhaps to feel some kind of control or make sense of his world and his worries. He is rather haunted by the thought of his wife’s first husband, Peter, who died and worries he can never live up to him. When his wife announces that she is pregnant he is both delighted and terrified, probably leaning more towards the terrified and come up with a rather audacious and unwise plan to support his family.
This is such a clever way to tell a story. When you think about it, using only lists strips out so much. There is very little dialogue, sparse details and yet there is enough information given for you to understand exactly what is going on. Like Dan often does, I did sometimes have to look up some of the things mentioned, chiefly American references I didn’t recognise but that was fine. I learned things as I was reading which is always a good thing I feel. I now know what Little Debbie Snack Cakes are for example!
Here’s my own little list to sum up my thoughts on the book:
1 – It really is possible to tell a story completely in lists
2 – Matthew Green has pulled this off in style
3 – I don’t know why he’s Matthew Dicks in America but Matthew Green here (must Google)
4 – I grew very fond of Dan and his lists
5 – Dan’s lists are often very funny
6 – Although sometimes I just wanted to shout ‘no’ to Dan as I read about his foolhardy plans!
7 – The book shows the lengths people will go to for their families
8 – I just loved the actual list of Twenty-One Things About Love, which contained a lot of wisdom
9 – My favourite was the last one ‘Love makes you do the stupidest, bravest, most ridiculous and idiotic things in your life. It makes you scared and crazy and joyous. Love is all the feelings.’ That certainly sums up Dan throughout the book!
10 – If you fancy a really unusual, quirky read, you should definitely give Twenty-One Truths About Love a go
My thanks to Frankie at Piatkus Books (an imprint of Little Brown) for sending me a copy to read and review. Twenty-One Truths About Love is available now in paperback and ebook formats. You can buy or order your copy at your usual book retailer or you will find options for various retailers on the Little Brown website here – Twenty One Truths About Love
From the back of the book
Daniel Mayrock’s life is at a crossroads:
1. His bookshop is failing.
2. He’s sick of feeling useless.
3. His wife, Jill, is ready to start a family.
4. She has no idea about 1 and 2.
Dan is scared.
Then Jill gets pregnant.
And now all Dan knows is:
5. Dan loves Jill.
Brimming with Dan’s hilarious sense of humour and unique world-view, his obsessive list-making paints a picture of a man who’s willing to do just about anything for the love (and soon-to-be new love) of his life…
About the Author
Matthew Green is an author, storyteller and school teacher. He is the author of four previous novels including the international bestseller, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend. His work has been translated into more than 25 languages. Matthew Green lives in Connecticut with his wife, their two children and two pet cats.