Joel’s life is pretty good. He has a job he likes, a wonderful little daughter whose Mum is his best friend, a caring sister and a fun boyfriend, who maybe doesn’t treat their relationship as exclusive as Joel would like, but they are good together and so he doesn’t make a fuss about it. But then one day faith shows her cruel side and Joel’s life gets turned upside down. Suddenly he finds himself a grieving, full time single dad, without a boyfriend, who is feeling pretty directionless. When he meets Liam, he is so, so drawn to the gentle, caring man, but on the other hand, he doesn’t feel ready for a relationship, so soon after loosing his best friend Claire and his boyfriend Dan.
But Liam is so good to him and his little daughter? How will he decide? Will he risk his heart again, for the chance to find a love, he always dream of, but suddely fears?
The Little Things by Jay Northcote is a love story, but not first and foremost. Mostly it is a story about family, fatherhood, friendship and how grief affects your life and everday decisions for a long time, after the drastic moment everything changed.
For me, this didn’t do the story any harm. I loved how the narration showed, how Joel is first a father, then everything else and how he tries and tries to do the best for Evie. The interactions between him and Evie speak of love and affection and I enjoyed joining them on their day to day adventures. My favorite character was Joels sister – the parts where these two interacted showed the strong bond between brother and sister and their banter was great fun listening to.
Jay Northcote wrote characters, that grew on me very fast and I soon liked Joel and Evie a lot. I wished them all the best and cried a bit about Joels desperation and heartache, after he lost Claire.
So I was a bit disapointed, when I never could really care for Liam. He seems nice and all, but I don’t know, if it was how the narrator played him or if he really is written this way, to me he always came across a bit sketchy and I never trusted him. And his dirty talk in the erotic scenes, for me seemed just like from a sleazy porn movie and I jumped over them while listening, even if I like my books steamy. I just thought: Hot? Joel, hot where? For me it was more like: Ewww make Liam shut up, please. And I never have any objections, if there is dirty talk in stories etc.
But maybe it was, that Liam really moved too fast and if I where Joel I would have found myself feeling rushed, too. When he interacted with Evie, he was too sweet. As if he wanted to get trough her, to Joel. In other books, I would have found a guy like him romantic, but something never sat right with me.
So, I loved the family part etc, how Joel adjusted to becoming full time daddy, cat owner etc. He and Evy where just precious together and part, where he describes her creative ways of dressing herself etc, made me laugh out loud and were just fun. But I couldn’t really feel with the romance, because I didn’t like the new boyfriend. ;)
Protective listener/reader is sometimes maybe too protective of characters she loves.
Still it is a lovely story and I liked it very much, even if I never liked Liam.
Joel and Evie, and Joels family are just so great, I will gladly revisit them and maybe I will see, what Joel sees in Liam then. Matthew Lloyd Davies did great work, bringing these characters to live and I enjoyed listening to him very much. I loved, how he brought all the emotions trough my headphones, so I didn’t even notice how time flew while listening. He and Jay Northcote are a great team and I enjoy how written narration and spoken narration make wonderful listening experiences.
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Information via Dreamspinner:
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Narrator: Matthew Lloyd Davies
Length: 7 hours and 30 minutes