Best of Adam Sharp
by Simsion, Graeme

"On the cusp of turning fifty, Adam Sharp likes his life. He's happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT. But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been: his blazing affair more than twenty years ago with an intelligent and strong-willed actress named Angelina Brown who taught him for the first time what it means to find-and then lose-love. How different might his life have been if he hadn't let her walk away? And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously?"-

GRAEME SIMSION is a former IT consultant and the author of two nonfiction books on database design who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn his hand to fiction. His first novel, The Rosie Project, was published in 2013 and translation rights have been sold in over thirty-five languages. Graeme lives in Australia with his wife, Anne, and their two children.

A one-word e-mail sets Adam's life ablaze. Nearing 50, between jobs, and sleeping separately from his longtime partner, Claire, Adam is poised for the reignition. He recalls-as much as he can recall what he can't forget-falling in love with Angelina, the e-mail's sender, in Melbourne, back when he'd left England for a short work contract more than 20 years ago. There he passed lonely evenings by playing piano, his passion, at a bar, and music was his and Angelina's first, sparking connection. (A playlist of the book's many evoked songs is cleverly available at the end of the book, as well as online.) As his and Angelina's communications escalate, Adam examines his life, takes up running again, returns to the piano, and emotionally reconnects with the music he loves. A leap-or-don't moment arises, and the outcome of Adam's decision surprises him perhaps most of all. Sensitive, witty Adam is a terrifically chummy narrator for fan-favorite Simsion's (The Rosie Effect, 2014) funny, sexy, and above all musical portrayal of the roles memory and fantasy play in midlife's yearnings. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Simsion makes a clear departure from the world of The Rosie Project (2013) and provides a soundtrack to this story of love in two parts.Adam Sharp usually reserves reminiscing about his stint as an IT consultant in Melbourne for when he's listening to sad songs of lost love. But a one-word email from his ex-lover is powerful enough motivation to get him questioning his choices over the last 22 years. When "hi" hits his inbox, Adam is living a life of routine in England. His long-term relationship with fellow IT professional Claire is more friendly than passionate but extremely functional. Gone are the days where he is regularly behind a piano, singing to—or with—a girl. For Adam, that girl is Angelina Brown, who walked up to him at the piano in 1989 with mascara running down her cheek and asked if he could play "Because the Night." He ended by singing out to the man who pulled her away, whom he later discovers to be Angelina's husband, with "a Lennon-McCartney sen d-off. ‘You're Gonna Lose That Girl.' " The first half of the novel is devoted to Adam's affair with the young, up-and-coming actress, with music playing an essential role in their connection—something they'll never share with anyone else. Though "in the end it was [he] who lost the girl." Back in the present, the email exchange turns from playful to life-changing when Angelina invites Adam to stay with her in France. The consequences of reconnecting take on the physical form of Angelina's husband, Charlie, who reveals himself as an active player in this charade. Their week in France is a complicated unfolding that feels like its own book, a midlife crisis that develops in real time during which Adam's and Angelina's versions of the past collide. With a piano serving as their medium, they must reconcile the 20-something versions of themselves with the people now sipping on 1966 Château Margaux. A strong reminder of just how affecting nostalgia can be, but Pa r t 2 of this love story is out of tune with its beginning. Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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