Because it's Valentine's Day...
Always: A Love Story was written by Trevor Meldal-Johnsen and originally published in 1979. It was well-received at the time and published in four countries in multiple languages. Always was recently republished by the author's widow Corinne Simon-Duneau who graciously gifted it to me for review. This new paperback version has been edited from the original and includes a foreword by Simon-Duneau and an extended biography of the author.
In Always: A Love Story, Gregory is an Oscar-nominated film writer who has developed a strong obsession for a long-dead actress. Brooke Ashley and her lover had tragically died together in a fire in the 1940s, but Gregory can't piece together how or why. Something about Brooke won't let him let it go.
Always is a romantic thriller that mixes old Hollywood with Hollywood of the late seventies. The story was written in the seventies, but for the most part it's not really obvious. It's mostly the absence of laptops and cell phones that calls out the period every once in a while. All the same, I love a good 20th century period novel.
Always is a beloved book that many are getting the chance to rediscover. I didn't have as strong a reaction as other readers, but I did enjoy the story. The central theme of "love never really dies" was well executed. The suggestion that we may come back to this Earth multiple times settled heavy on my mind as I read Always. But, I felt the romance factor to be less prominent than the paranormal. I would probably re-title the book Always: A Mystery. But, if you love romance and mystery and nostalgia and the paranormal, this book satisfies all those categories.
I recommend Always: A Love Story to anyone looking for something beyond the usual themes that are out there today.