I was sent an advance reading copy of this lovely book by Alma Books. ‘The Art of Leaving’ was published in March this year and it is Anna Stothard’s third novel. This is a very haunting story.
The first thing I want to comment about is the cover which really caught my eye. Beautifully designed, it makes me imagine being in a park on a beautiful summer’s day, at one with nature.
At some point in our lives we all have to say goodbye to that someone special or leave a favourite place never to return. Not an easy thing to do at all! But Eva Elliott actually gets a thrill from saying farewell. She finds there is more potential in just walking away rather than remaining in a serious relationship. In fact, before she met Luke her boyfriend of three years, Eva had always considered herself to be talented at leaving people and places. You see as a child Eva moved around a lot due to her father’s career. She also developed an extremely vivid imagination which led to her fantasising a lot.
It’s a rainy summer in Soho and a magnificent golden eagle called Regina escapes from London Zoo leaving her mate behind. This causes much media attention and crowds of people gather to catch glimpses of her. At the same time a mysterious stranger starts appearing around town. She seems very interested in getting to know Eva. Having tried to leave Luke twice without success Eva is about to learn that getting the freedom you crave can come at a cost.
I found this to be a very enjoyable and thought provoking read. Anna Stothard has described her characters and their surroundings so well. I really liked Eva and was fascinated by her job working for a publisher as that is something I would like to do myself if ever I changed my career.
I give this book 4 out of 5.
Alma Books have recently been voted Independent Publisher of the Year 2013. Visit their website for more great books at http://www.almabooks.com.