Mhairi McFarlane’s second novel doesn’t disappoint. To be honest, I didn’t expect it to, although following ‘You Had Me At Hello’ must have been a daunting prospect. In ‘Here’s Looking At You’ once again her cast brim with life and burst off the pages, which sparkle and fizz with wit and racy dialogue.
McFarlane’s powers of observation are stunning. The result is characters that are utterly convincing. You love them, hate them, pity them and ultimately feel slightly bereft once they are gone. I go from wanting to re-arrange Fraser’s film star good looks with a few well directed punches to feeling like offering him my shoulder as he pours his heart out about Eva over a couple of pints of Guinness. In fact, McFarlane gets under the skin of male psyche like few other. A feat in itself.
A comparison. Not long ago, I read a critically acclaimed novel by an established author (No names!) Great plot, great Mediterranean location – but the characters were tissue-thin. Reading It reminded me of the way children perform in a nativity play: “Onceuponatimelonglongago…”
Not so here. With an enviable ability to create the magical from the mundane McFarlane, with her surgical skill, strips the layers of sexual politics and manners (or lack of) from relationships, until you get to the bare bones … and where does that fine line lie betweeen freindship and love?
AND how refreshing: a book which doesn’t make you feel you ought to go take a shower after reading.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this is some sort of twee Rom Com. This is a Grown Up’s book for a Grown Up audience. Enjoy!
© Andy Daly