What Amazon says
Erin Mason, divorced and with two teenage sons, finds her world begins to fall apart when she undergoes what is termed a “life event”, and is diagnosed with cancer. Not too far away somebody else, Alan Beaumont, is also suffering a similar fate. Their paths slowly come together in this inspiring and humorous tale which is partly based on actual events, and shows how love can flourish in the most unlikely of circumstances.
I listened to the audio book of A Rather unusual Romance narrated by Wendy Anne Darling. Right up front I must say that I really enjoy Wendy Darling’s reading style which is perfectly suited to this particular book. I listen to enough audio books to know that the reader’s voice and style can ruin a book, but Wendy Darling’s narration really added to my enjoyment of this excellent story.
Erin Mason has a busy but ordinary life. She is a ward clerk in a busy hospital ward that specialises in care of the elderly and, right up front, she proves herself to be patient, firm and kind as she deals with the patients and her work colleagues. Erin is a single mother to her twin teenage boys after their father, her husband at the time, leaves her for another woman with whom he’s been having an affair.
The relationship between Erin and her boys clearly indicates the type of person she is as they are caring and reasonably considerate towards their mother all the way through the book. It was heart warming to know that her children, Kevin in particular, were capable of expressing their love through looking after Erin and preparing meals for her when she became ill.
I quickly came to be ambivalent towards Erin’s ex-husband, Chris, who not only had an affair and treated her quite badly when their marriage broke up, but behaves selfishly and self centredly when he becomes aware of her involvement with Alan.
Alan is a kindly and decent man who has also been through a divorce following his wife leaving him for another man. He is left to bring up his daughter, Matilda, on his own and she is a testimony to his excellence as a father.
Alan is diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the same time as Erin and ends up being her neighbour in the lead lined hospital rooms during their simultaneous treatment with radiation.
The author’s understanding of thyroid cancer, its treatment and pitfalls are quite apparent in this book and found it all very interesting having had a few encounters with breast cancer and its treatment in my own family.
This is a compelling book . The author probes into the anxiety and psychology of each of Alan and Erin as they go through the processes of suspecting something is wrong with them, diagnosis of their conditions, treatment, and finally its aftermath.
I enjoyed the positivity the author portrayed while telling this story and the fact that the characters found happiness and love in the most unexpected place and circumstances. The author also delves into the difficulties of introducing a new relationship into two existing families and the complexities of dealing with teenage angsts, rejection and concerns in such circumstances.
On the whole, I thought this was an excellent book, well written and full of the best of humanity.