The basic idea of this book is a simple one. However, the writing elevates this to something sublime. Pippa Gallagher has been seriously injured in a car accident and is in hospital in an induced coma. Her husband Steve is with her and the doctors suggest he try talking to her. Through this, we find out about their history together. The book’s chapters go from the present (2019) to Pippa and Steve’s lives before and back again. It is easy to follow though, as each chapter has the year and the narrator’s name.
Co-written by husband and wife Olivia Poulet and Laurence Dobiesz (both successful actors, as well as writers), it is an amazing book. Although it’s ostensibly a big love story, there is so much depth to it. Showcasing brilliant writing from both of them, it is everything you want from a book – great characters you can easily visualize, wonderful dialogue, well-observed, poignant, moving, emotional and often laugh-out-loud funny.
At the end of the book, there’s an interview with Olivia and Laurence too, which I enjoyed reading, where they explain how the idea for the novel came about and what the process of writing it together entailed.
Overall, I really enjoyed everything about the novel and will definitely read anything they write in the future.
9 out of 10
12 HOURS TO SAY I LOVE YOU
Olivia Poulet & Laurence Dobiesz
Headline Review | 3rd February 2022 | Hardback | £14.99
Available in Ebook and Audio on 1st January
Audiobook read by the authors
Two people. One love story. 12 hours to tell it.
Whir, beep, click, breath. Whir, beep, click, breath.
Pippa Gallagher is rushed in to hospital following a traffic accident. As Pippa lies unconscious, she is aware of fragments. The day she met Steve Gallagher, her best friend and the man who would become the love of her life. The heartbreak she felt that night as she got into her car, her eyes blurry from tears.
Meanwhile Steve sits at her bedside, his eyes fixed on her pale, still face. He has no idea where his wife was going when she crashed. No clue as to why she became distracted behind the wheel. All he knows is that she is his world. And that he wasn’t there when she needed him most.
For the next twelve hours, Steve tells Pippa all the reasons he loves her. But is it too late? Can Pippa find her way back to him?
Gripping, moving and beautifully observed, this is a love story told from both sides.
‘Hilarious and heartbreaking, a rollercoaster you won’t want to get off’ SARA PASCOE
‘A glorious love story with a heart of gold that you won’t be able to put down’ DEBORAH FRANCES-WHITE
‘Not just a beautifully tender love story but also a wonderful journey of exaltation, desperation and heartbreak – life-affirming’ TOM ALLEN
‘Beautiful… This drowns in love’ SIOBHÁN MCSWEENEY
Olivia Poulet and Laurence Dobiesz are writers and actors based in London. Married for six years, they have written together for radio and screen. #blessed, a comedy drama love story, was ‘Pick of the Week’ for BBC Radio 4. Their short film, Deliver Me, won the Special Jury Award at the 2020 London City Film Awards. It was the first instalment from The Repertory Shorts, which sees them write and act in a series of shorts alongside an ensemble of film makers. As an actor, Olivia is known for THE THICK OF IT, IN THE LOOP, BACK, DOC MARTIN and HOLBY CITY. Laurence is best known for playing Alexander Randall in OUTLANDER.
@oliviapoulet | @laurencedobiesz