Marnie Fitzpatrick is a reclusive sixth-former from Hertfordshire with a dysfunctional family, a penchant for Pythagoras' Theorem and an addiction to doughnuts and gin. Julie Crewe is a disillusioned maths teacher who lives vicariously through the girls she teaches, yet who once danced barefoot through Central Park with a man called Jo she has never been able to forget.
This is the story of what happened in the summer of 1969, when the sun burned down on the Shredded Wheat factory and a boy called Freddie Friday danced to the records he had stolen. This is about first love, and last love, and all the strange stuff inbetween. This is what happens when three people are bound together by something that can't be calculated or explained by an equation.
This is what happened when they saw the open door.
Publisher: Heron Books
I was a huge fan of Eva Rice's book The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets but sadly I have not read her other books so I was really pleased to be offered the opportunity to review her latest novel, Love Notes for Freddie.
The book had two narrators, Marnie Fitzpatrick and Julie Crewe. Marnie is in the sixth form of a prestigious girls school in Hertfordshire. She is excellent at maths and when celebrating an amazing exam result she does something completely out of character which leads to her being expelled and the course of her life altered forever.
Julie Crewe is Marnie's maths teacher; teaching was not her first choice of career, she wanted to dance more than anything. This has led her to live her life through the girls she teaches so she is devastated when Marnie acts so foolishly. She wants Marnie to follow her dreams and fulfill her potential so she continues to encourage her. It is Marnie who introduces Miss Crewe to Freddie; he works at the Shredded Wheat factory but his true love is dancing. He only does this in secret though to stolen records. Both of these women love Freddie for different reasons but he becomes their main connection. All three of them have unfulfilled dreams, how can they help each other get what they really want?
Eva Rice has written a complete gem of a book in Love Notes for Freddie. Rice's writing has a magical quality to it; she can be writing about quite mundane, everyday things but the language she chooses raises it up and gives it an almost dreamlike quality.
I took to all three main characters and having the two different narrators made it a more interesting read. Eva Rice explores different aspects of love and life in this book and it left me with a lot to think about. Love Notes for Freddie reminded me how good an author Eva Rice is and I won't be missing her books in the future.
Many thanks to Quercus Books for sending me a copy to review.