Saturday 8 March 2014

That Part Was True by Deborah McKinlay

When Eve Petworth writes to Jackson Cooper to praise a scene in one of his books, they discover a mutual love of cookery and food. As their letters criss-cross the ocean that lies between them, friendship and then romance blossom despite Jackson's colourful love life and Eve's tense relationship with her soon-to-be-married daughter.
 Little by little, Eve and Jack begin to believe that they may have a chance to change their lives and possibly get a second chance at happiness. They just need to actually meet...
 BBC FILMS, the makers of Philomena, Saving Mr Banks and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen have just bought film rights.
That Part Was True by Deborah McKinlay is published in hardback by Orion Fiction on 13 March 2014.

Eve Petworth is a divorced, middle-aged British woman. Eve doesn't really like herself, she feels as though she is worthless. Her ex-husband thought so, her late mother thought so and her newly-engaged daughter appears to think so too. Eve doesn't feel comfortable leaving the house. Eve is very lonely.

Jackson Cooper is also very lonely. He's a successful American author and has written many novels. He is also mourning the breakdown of his marriage, avoiding the advances of his neighbour and struggling a little with his latest book.

Eve and Jackson both love food, and it is this love that introduces them. Eve writes to Jackson and praises a passage in one of his books. Jackson is touched by something in Eve's correspondence and responds. And so begins a relationship between two lonely people, thousands of miles apart, yet closer to each other than many of the people that they see every day.

Deborah McKinlay is a skilled author who has a special talent for creating characters who come alive for the reader. Her characters are not without their faults, but this only adds to the authenticity of the writing. Both Eve and Jackson live quite privileged lives in terms of comfort and money, but it is their inner thoughts and passions that they share with each other through their letters that really touch the reader. There is a supporting cast of characters who again are fully rounded and some of them are just plain awful, not awfully written, but awfully human!

That Part Was True is an easy, gentle story that can be quite easily finished in a couple of sittings. It is first and foremost a love story and the foodie element, complete with some delicious sounding recipes makes this an inspirational and pleasurable read.  The cover art is absolutely beautiful too, eye-catching and inviting.

My thanks to Sophie from Orion who sent my copy for review.

BBC Films has optioned Deborah McKinlay’s novel That Part Was True. The story follows the relationships between a UK divorcĂ©e and a U.S. author through their shared love of food and cooking. The book is due to be published in the UK by Orion. There are no details on timing for a feature transfer, but BBC Films chief Christine Langan says, “That Part Was True is a stunning novel: Deborah is a wonderful storyteller whose characters leap off the page, their dilemmas subtly touching modern nerves.”

Deborah McKinlay has published half a dozen non-fiction titles in the UK.  Her first novel The View From Here was published in 2011 and her books have been translated into numerous languages. Her work has appeared in British Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Esquire. She lives in South West England.

Find out more about Deborah McKinlay at her website  Follow her on Twitter @YourAuntLola

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