book reviews

Book Review: Beautiful Messy Love

beautiful messy love

Beautiful Messy Love
: Tess Woods
Published: 2017
Publisher: Harper Collins
My Rating: 5 hearts out of 5

What happens when love and loyalty collide?

Beautiful Messy Love is a heartwarming, funny, poignant and achingly beautiful tale of the realities of love. It is the second novel from Australian author Tess Woods, and after delivering in spades with her first, ‘Love at First Flight’, she has backed it up with yet another sensational read.

Beautiful Messy Love tells the story of four complicated lives. There’s Nick, the handsome Aussie Rules superstar. Anna, a Muslim refugee with a heart of gold, but a tragic past. Lily, Nick’s sister, who is struggling with the decision whether or not to finish her medical degree. And Toby, who has just lost his wife to cancer. Their stories will intertwine and then be thrown about and torn apart by love and loyalty.

What I love about Tess’s writing, is the way she instantly forces you to care for her characters. You are immediately drawn into their lives and compelled to read on because they have scratched your your heart.  They are not characters; they are real people. And just like real people, they are complicated and emotional, and their lives are completely messy.

Tess confronts many issues in this book, from social justice and the plight of asylum seekers, to the hollowness and pitfalls of fame. And she does so in a beautifully subtle way, which imprints on your brain and stays with you long after you finish reading.  She also highlights the power of women; their strength, vulnerability, courage, and sensuality.

This is a book that everyone will relate to in one way or another, but mostly to the fact that love is rarely ‘happy-ever-after’. Love is in fact messy. And loyalty, friendships, careers, and family are all factors that cause it to be so. Tess’s ability to evoke emotion that squeezes your heart and doesn’t let go, is evidence of supreme talent as an author.

Readers of her first novel, ‘Love at First Flight’ will recognize two of the characters – Nick and Lily – as the now grown up children of Mel, which is a lovely touch.

This book will make you laugh, cry, fist-bump, sigh and everything else in between.

Beautiful Messy Love is without a doubt, one of the best books of 2017.