Also by this author: The Switch
Published by BERKLEY on April 12, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Don’t let the rom-com vibes of its cover fool you, Beth O’Leary’s new novel The No-Show is no rom-com. While the story did make me smile at times, it also made me shed a tear or two because it’s such an emotional journey for some of the characters. The story also took a huge unexpected turn that I don’t want to spoil so I’m going to be a bit vague with what I enjoyed about this book.
The No-Show follows three women who only have one thing in common – they were all stood up by the same man, Joseph Carter, on Valentine’s Day. Siobhan is a life coach whose life is so over-booked that she doesn’t have time or the desire for a relationship. Since her past relationships haven’t been great, she has decided that booty calls are the way to go, with Joseph Carter being her go-to when she’s in the mood. Then there’s Miranda, a tree surgeon, the only woman on an all-male crew. She’s okay with being treated like one of the guys but she gets defensive when her crew makes fun of her boyfriend, Joseph Carter, because he’s so different from her that they don’t seem like they should be compatible. Lastly, there’s Jane, a young woman who volunteers at a charity job and who has decided, after a disastrous romance at her former workplace, that she will no longer date. To keep everyone she knows off her case about finding herself a man, she has a friend that she fake-dates whenever she has a function to attend. That is, until she realizes she actually has feelings for him. That man is, you guessed it, Joseph Carter.
Aside from the mystery of how this guy manages to keep up relationships with all three of these women but somehow manages to stand them all up on the most romantic day of the year, what really fascinated me were these women’s reactions to being stood up and the fact that all three of them actually forgive him and let him back into their lives. In that sense, the story focuses much more on the emotional and personal journeys of Siobhan, Miranda, and Jane than it focuses on Carter. I loved how well-developed and fleshed out all three of the women were. Their voices and experiences were each unique, as was their path forward after being stood up. I loved watching the other relationships they cultivated that in many ways were more important than their relationships with Carter. I loved the friends Jane made through the charity shop and how they supported her and boosted her confidence, and I loved Miranda’s teammates who, although they razzed her at times, ended up being a pretty great support system for her as well.
Solving the enigma of Joseph Carter and wondering if one of these women was going to end up kicking his butt also had me very invested in the story. I was so ready to hate this guy, and that’s when the entire story gets turned on its end and takes a direction I was not even remotely expecting. I’m used to this kind of huge twist in thrillers, so it really caught me off guard here. Beth O’Leary is sneaky here and I mean that in the best possible way.
I don’t want to say anything else because you really need to meet Joseph Carter and follow the women in his life yourself to get the full experience. If you’re in the mood for a beautifully crafted story of love, friendship, and how to move forward when life doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would, you’ll want to check out Beth O’Leary’s new novel, The No-Show. 4 STARS