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Book Review

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The Love Delusion


Author: Nicola Mostyn
Publisher: Piatkus
376 pages
RRP: £8.99
ISBN: 978 0 349 41571 0
Publication Date: 05 September 2019

Frida and Dan are on the run, desperate to get to the woods, they flee but are caught. Two years later Frida is working for The Love Delusion, a cult who teaches that love is an illusion which just makes people unhappy. Returning to her church she encounters a man protesting against the cult and for some reason is drawn to him. Later, when she finds a picture, which seems to be of the man and her sharing a picnic she goes looking for him and everything she thought she knew about her life is called into question...

The Love Delusion (2019. 376 pages) is a fantasy novel written by Nicola Mostyn. It follows on from the first novel, The Gods of Love (2018), but it is not necessary to have read this, as the book works perfectly as a standalone story.

The book is set in the present, but this is a present where the Greek gods really exist, similar to the Percy Jackson novels. Where Percy is an adolescent, Frida is a full grown woman who has been pierced by a love arrow.

The book's opening sequence cleverly throws the reader right into the middle of Frida and Dan’s flight. Mostyn gives little away here, which sets up the mystery well. When we next encounter them two years have passed and it is obvious to the reader that Frida and Dan have no memory of each other. Of course, fate throws them together and they mostly recover their memories, otherwise this would be a very short book.

The book poses a very interesting question. The Love Delusion are successfully making people fall out of love with the idea of love. Further, they insist that it’s just a collective delusion which we all hang on to and once freed of this delusion singletons lead happier lives. The worrying thing is that the basic premise is not that far from the truth. In England the divorce rate is 42% and being single is generally less detrimental to female’s health and longevity.

The book is told from Frida's’s point of view and many of the characters from the first novel return. I won’t discuss the cult as this would spoil the book, but it was fun seeing Medusa running a bar and discovering a lot more about Psyche’s past and her motivations. The characters of Frida and Dan are compelling and it is easy to empathise with their plight, even in such a fantastical world.

From the opening chapter the pace rarely lets up and it was extremely easy to spend time in this world. I really hate the term ‘page turner’ but this book really does earn that well-worn accolade as Mostyn writes with wit and charm. The overall structure is well constructed and Mostyn is particularly strong on her characterisations.

This is a fine sequel and hopefully the continuation of a series set in this world.


Charles Packer

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