The No-Show” by Beth O’Leary

Review by Yvonne Selander, collection development librarian

Joseph Carter, a mild-mannered, sweet, straight-laced man, has stood up three very different women on Valentine’s Day. Siobhan is the life coach who comes to the realization that she needs to work on her own life. Miranda is a tree surgeon who spends her days risking her life in the tops of trees. And Jane is working as a volunteer in a charity shop after fleeing her law firm career in London and refuses to talk about that. What do these three women have in common? And where was Carter on Valentine’s Day?

Knowing he stood these three women up made it difficult for me to like him from the get-go. But I couldn’t help it. He seemed to be a genuinely nice guy. But as I learned more about these women, and grew to like them all a lot for their realism and grit, I found myself doubting the author — how could she do this to these women and to me! Fear not. It will all be explained and if you find yourself liking Carter as much as Siobhan, Miranda and Jane it’s okay. You’ll have to take my word for it — he is not a creep. I hesitate to call this a romance. This is an exploration of life, love and what it means to be happy and allow yourself to enjoy happiness after events of all kinds shatter your dreams.