THE LIST by Anne Calhoun-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 3, 2015
Matchmaker and stationery shop owner Matilda Davies brings people together. For those on her list, Tilda will find the man or woman of their dreams—whether it’s for an hour or a lifetime. But due to a painful past, the British expat has never put her own name on the list. Instead, she limits herself to emotionless and commitment-free hookups. Then she meets Daniel, who wants not just her body, but also her heart…
Daniel Logan hides the soul of a poet under the suit and tie of an FBI agent. Specializing in financial crimes, he pieces together stories of greed and ensures justice is done. He plays by the rules—until he meets Tilda. He’s drawn in by her passion as well as her mysteriousness. Daniel knows that no matter her secrets, he’s the perfect match for Tilda. But even pleasure doesn’t come with a guarantee…
REVIEW: THE LIST is a contemporary, adult storyline that follows a year in the life of FBI agent Daniel Logan and stationery shop owner Matilda Davies. THE LIST is a story of romance, learning to love, and forgiving oneself for the sins of the past.
Told from third person point of view, alternating between the present and the recent past, THE LIST focuses on the unexpected and unlikely relationship between Tilda and Daniel, and Tilda’s need to hold on to the past.
Tilda is a bit of a matchmaker whose successful unions have left a pleasant but envious mark upon our heroine’s soul. Tilda is an enigma to others and to herself. Her relationship with Daniel is quick to develop; she is a sexually passionate woman yet comes across uncaring, withdrawn, self absorbed and without emotion; and she is vulnerable to her past. Her bond with Daniel is tentative and fragile; her need to succeed and be noticed is all encompassing. Saying that, her likability as a heroine is provisional upon the outcome of the story-I found it difficult to understand Daniel’s attraction and connection to Matilda Davies.
The relationship between our leading couple is highly sexual, provocative and intense but herein lies the issue-Daniel and Tilda have nothing in common but a deep desire to be needed and belong. Their love story is often painful, intimate and moving but is built upon a shaky foundation-a happily ever after is not always a guarantee. Daniel, on the other hand, is an amazing man who supports and nurtures Tilda through her numerous levels of self absorption and emotional withdrawal-it is almost a codependent relationship. Tilda outwardly appears strong and self assured but inside something is missing and the little girl, she once was, is still waiting for recognition and love.
Throughout the novel I found myself at odds with my enjoyment due to the heroine’s underwhelming and less than welcoming persona; the narrative was, at times, unusually dry and subdued, and I, once again, blame the heroine’s lack of empathy and emotional range throughout much of the story. Tilda hides behind a façade; a mask of her own making but in doing so hides away from herself.
THE LIST is an interesting and well written storyline but I think it fell short in its’ ability to draw me in. Perhaps it was the author’s writing style or the method used to convey the overall mood. If there was ever a metaphor for their relationship-Daniel was first introduced to Tilda as they sat upon a ledge, twenty one stories above the ground; on the precipice of life and death; the past, the present, and the future; on the edge of an abyss going nowhere-fast.
Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley
Reviewed by Sandy