I’ve read quite a few books in one sitting this year but twice on the trot; only two, and this was one of them. The Forbidden strays away from what many would consider to be the conventional love story, it also strays away from what Jodie’s followers expect from her, but I will tell you this, there’s no staying away from dynamics of this story. To put it mildly, it is powerful, consuming, brilliantly written. Combined with convincing characters gives rise for a mind-blowing read. It knocked me backwards, turned me inside out and then put me back together again. And this is the good part; I felt I had no option but to reread it as I wanted to savour the whole story once more, make sure I hadn’t missed out on the smallest detail.
Before I go any further, I would highly recommend reading the blurb. Who doesn’t love the element of surprise? I’m sure most of you do; however, this is not the case here. The premise of the story is as such that it could quite possibly affect the reader. It is impossible for me to ascertain whether in your opinion, what the protagonists do is improper, therefore please take my advice and you won’t be disillusioned. I’d also like to add my feelings regarding this gripping narrative. What happened, happens in real life. The author hasn’t prettied it up or exaggerated scenes which might get the reader to think otherwise; she has told it as realistically as only one can imagine under these circumstances. I honestly believe before condoning anyone and putting them on an immoral pedestal, we should know all the facts. And the facts are not in the least what I expected, so if you do decide to one-click, hold on tight ‘cause you are about to be put through a highly emotional wringer!
What Jack and Annie have to go through is so tangible, I couldn’t help but connect to them instantly. And although the physical attraction is of importance, there’s much more to their relationship than just lust. The professional element brings them together on an academic level, they trust each other’s work experience, are on the same wavelength and gain mutual respect. The author has not only explained their jobs in detail, but also made it interesting for the reader. I, for one, learnt a thing or two about how it’s done!
I found the pacing perfect, and their backstories which were revealed in just the right places, helped to build up the tension. However, the true goosebump moments is when their situation becomes insupportable. If I struggled to get my head round the dilemma they were in, they struggled a lot more. Oh my, I loved the way I was kept me on the edge of my seat in some scenes that were quite honestly, hard to read. When the worst was to come for Jack, I literally cried out loud. Here’s a guy who will do anything for the woman he’s head over heels in love with. But is it enough?
For me, this man ticked all the right boxes. His demeanor is serious, intense and nothing is taken lightly. Yet his sense of humour is like a breath of fresh air, balancing out his sufferance. A couple of scenarios are incredibly impassioned and quite honestly, drained me. I, myself, couldn’t have wished more for him to find a way out of the hellhole they were both in. Goodness me, my heart broke for Annie. To what extent will her guilt consume her and at what price? Never, for one minute, did I think her self-centred. One thing is for sure, wallowing in her mental conundrum caused me to reflect on how couples in similar situations deal with such issues of the heart. Quoting Shakespeare: “GIve sorrow word; that grief that does not speak up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.”
Malpas is quintessentially English which manifests in her writing. Set in London, she gives a graphic description of locations I know and love; nonetheless, what was an added plus for me has to be the lingo. Brit to the core! The development of secondary character is beyond sublime, too. I had an aversion towards one particular individual who caused a strong desire to do a bit of Kindle head-bashing! Obviously I didn’t since I can’t live without my eReader; but when I have the paperback copy, it will have pride of place on my shelf. There is no doubt whatsoever that Malpas’ writing is courageous. I can’t thank her enough for pulling no punches and telling Jack and Annie’s story as she saw it; for getting me to step outside of my comfort zone and then draw me back in with an incomparable ease, for making me fall hard for this gorgeous couple. 5 best-book-I’ve-read-in-a-long-while stars! BRAVO Jodi!