Tom (25) and his father Richard (49) have been estranged for a year, after Tom’s mum left his dad. Tom is a writer, a journalist for Double Glazing Monthly as his day job, whilst writing a musical. His dad is a radio DJ with his own show on Silk FM and they live in London.
Harriet is 35, recovering from a disastrous relationship and a ‘resting’ actress, currently working as barista in a café. (I like her. She’s a vegetarian like me – except proper veggies don’t eat fish! – and has the same view of umbrellas as I do.) She meets Tom at work and they go on a date. Meanwhile, she has entered the Voice of London competition and one of the judges is DJ Richard. They meet through that and go on a date.
Richard’s father George (80) also makes an appearance, so yes, we have three generations in the book. I’ll let you meet him for yourself, but let’s just say he’s a bit of a chancer. Following the family tradition, he’s estranged from his son. But no, he doesn’t end up on a date with Harriet. (Phew!)
While the idea of both father and son dating the same woman might seem far-fetched or somehow seedy, the way things develop is beautifully done and it is both believable and rather lovely. With many families estranged, this kind of thing could be possible. I’m not giving away any spoilers, as you should read this book for yourself and see how everything pans out. But it’s very clever!
The author has written a lot for television, but I don’t think Three’s A Crowd would be a good TV series. Although it is very visual, the beauty is in the words and there’s no way another medium could be as effective. You need the words! Oh and I loved them.
The chapters are a good size and written from various character’s viewpoints. Each character has its own distinctive voice and each come across as very believable. You also feel sympathy for them, as you’re seeing things from their point of view.
You can tell Simon Brooker is an experienced writer, as everything seems effortless. You see and hear each character so clearly and I loved the humour and wit as well as the authenticity. This is the sort of writing where I want to read everything he has written. This is his first contemporary fiction novel, but he has crime novels out too – another of my favourite genres. Watch out, Simon, I’m coming for your back catalogue! 😉
Now, I must catch up with the latest edition of Double Glazing Monthly…
What happens when an estranged father and son unwittingly fall in love with the same woman?
Out-of-work actor Harriet is recuperating from a crash-and-burn affair with Damian – aka ‘Cockweasel’ – and making ends meet as a barista when she meets two rather lovely men. Tom is a regular at the café, and seems like such a nice guy. Smooth-talking DJ Richard is older, but in great shape – a real silver fox.
Deciding to take a chance on both of them, Harriet doesn’t realise at first that she is actually dating father and son. Tom and Richard aren’t on speaking terms, and don’t share a last name – so how was she to know? By the time everyone finds out, both Tom and Richard are truly madly deeply in love with Harriet, and she’s faced with an impossible choice.
But as the battle for her affections intensifies, ‘Cockweasel’ makes an unexpected reappearance and begs her to give him another chance…