The Accidental Life of Greg Millar
Lucy Arigho’s first encounter with Greg Millar is far from promising, but she soon realises he possesses a charm that is impossible to resist. Just eight whirlwind weeks after their first meeting, level-headed career girl Lucy is seriously considering his pleas to marry him and asking herself if she could really be stepmother material.
But before Lucy can make a final decision about becoming part of Greg’s world, events plunge her right into it. On holiday in the South of France, things start to unravel. Her future stepchildren won’t accept her, the interfering nanny resents her, and they’re stuck in a heat wave that won’t let up. And then there’s Greg. His behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre and Lucy begins to wonder whether his larger-than-life personality hides something darker—and whether she knows him at all.
A Perfect Example of “Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover.”
Aimee Alexander is known by many in the literary world as Irish YA novelist, Denise Deegan. Often, when an author turns from one genre to another, I am a little hesitant to jump in, and I have to admit this is the first of her adult focused novels that I picked up. I never really have been keen on change, when JK Rowling moved from Harry Potter to crime fiction, I was less than enthralled and I am not ashamed to admit a little disappointed. With so much love for the Denise Deegan YA novels, I was hesitant about dipping into her latest contemporary adult fiction.
How wrong I was to judge.
It wasn’t just the change of direction and genre that would surprise me. Before picking up this book I knew nothing about it. I had no idea what issues the book would tackle and had not read the blurb (in truth I did not want to give myself any other reasons not to read it.) Instead, I took one look at the cover and the title and dived right in. It wasn’t long before I realised that all is not what it seems.
You see, this book is not really about Greg Millar. His accidental life may come to play in it, but truly, the story is much more about Lucy and how she deals with the accidental life she is suddenly thrust into.
This is no typical love story. It is in no way flimsy or rose-tinted. It is raw and real.
Lucy, overcoming her crippling grief after loosing her fiancee in a tragic car accident, throws herself head first into work, doing everything she can to distract herself from the pain she is feeling. Little does she know that her next client is about to become her most important. Not only that, but he will flip her life on its head.
Romance between Greg and Lucy develops quickly and due to the style of writing, the book is incredibly fast-paced. The characters meet, fall in love and act on their desires quicker than I am accustomed to, but when we discover why Greg’s love of life has taken over, suddenly the pace of the book makes sense. The style of writing matches the personality of the characters, and although I felt descriptions were lacking at times, the speed at which the story moved kept me more than entertained and eager to turn the page.
Without giving too much away (I will try to do this with as few spoilers as possible) Alexander manages to walk us through what we at first see as a perfect, loving but impulsive new relationship. But it is not just the hostility of the nanny or the cold shoulder of Greg’s daughter that seems a little off in this book – Greg’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and it’s not long before we realise that he is hiding a secret that maybe he himself was also unaware of.
A new budding relationship, already strained by difficult family dynamics is put to the test and the love Lucy has for Greg is tested in the most difficult of ways.
This is a book that tackles love in the real world, following a couple that face real issues and don’t just fall into a fairy tale life of love and sex.
The issues tackled in the novel are important and give weight to the story and although the book is incredibly fast-paced due to lengthy sections of dialogue, I felt the style lent itself well to the intense story line.
I wish I could have ‘seen’ Lucy more, enjoyed more description and visualised their life together, but I was encouraged by the positive and frank way Alexander explored a difficult subject that all too often is experienced by many couples but kept behind closed doors.
This book would suit those who are not really smitten with airy fairy, descriptive writing but more interested in quick, informative and dialogue heavy novels – as well as sitting well with those who appreciate an author who is not afraid to tackle real life issues.
The Accidental Life of Greg Millar is Published by: Lake Union