I borrowed The Lovers of Amherst without checking previous books written by William Nicholson. I did not have any specific expectations or hopes. I was traveling to a hot, sunny country and I wanted to read something while enjoying my holidays.
Novel introduces Alice Dickson as a screenwriter in her twenties that is passionate about Emily Dickson's poems as well as her. Action takes place in two time frames 1880s and England in XXI century. 1880s is full of love, poetry, passion, and emotions between Emily's married brother Austin and young, pretty and confident wife of a new assistant professor at Amherst College Mabel.
Romance between Alice and older man that was a lover of her ex boyfriend mother... If the intention was to shock, author did not succeed. It was very mechanical, repetitive romance that appears in many other books. In my opinion Alice has an emotional maturity of a teenager in a full swing of puberty and should go nowhere near one night stands as she sees love where there is only sex. I like strong, independent, vibrant female characters and she is not one of them.
On the other side romance between Mabel and Austin was better. The development of the affair was believable. That could be connected with extensive use of letters and poetry in the novel. When I think about it now, I think that if this part would be as weak as the part based in modern times I would probably not continue reading it. I still was not overwhelmed by it but it was interesting to read more about historical aspects, society, culture and marriages.
At the end of the day I am not going to read the rest of the books that include Alice Dickson as a main character. I have neither sympathy nor patience to read about her problems that she provokes.
From two worlds I was enjoying story based in 1880s more than the one with Alice Dickson based in modern times so if you know novels that are based then let me know.