Just the Two of Us by Jo Wilde
Narrated by Harriet Fraser and Alex Hyde-White
When I first picked up Just The Two of Us by Jo Wilde, it seemed right up my alley. I was divorced after 29 years right before the pandemic, and lockdown sort of brought us back together in a sense. I know I am one of the rare people that like books that take place during the pandemic, because it was such a big part of our lives, why ignore it?
What I didn’t realize, is that it was a British book, so right off the bat, I had some trouble relating, both from the narration and the setting. I was going to DNF very early on, but I was on the road without a backup audiobook, so I stuck with it. And I must say, I’m glad I did.
Julie and Michael are empty nesters with three grown children. They’ve been married for 35 years, but when the kids moved out and Michael hurt his back, they began sleeping in different rooms and just drifted apart. Julie has seen a lawyer and is filing for divorce right as the world is going into lockdown.
When Julie realizes she will be stuck alone at home with her husband, with no kids and no work to distract them, she hides away the divorce papers…for now. The pandemic wasn’t a huge focus of the story, their marriage was. But it really brought back those initial feelings of fear we all had at the beginning, and personally, I enjoyed it. It was real and relatable, and I had forgotten a lot of those feelings.
Julie and Michael’s history is told through flashbacks that unfortunately confused the heck out of me. The time periods jumped around, and sometimes a chapter would be in the past, sometimes just a short memory. Perhaps it could have been clearer in print, but thumbing through the book, the past and present aren’t visually different either. So it would take me a few minutes to figure out where I was, especially when restarting the book after a pause.
- I love reading about older couples.
- I liked the way the pandemic was handled. It was not the main focus of the book at all, but it brought back a lot of the feelings I forgot.
- It was kind of a quiet, simple story that actually brought back some of the good at the beginning of COVID when we were all in the same boat—scared, and hunkering down with family.
- Relatable problems of a couple married for 30+ years.
- Dual POV helped me see both sides and how they both contributed to the demise of the marriage.
- There was no pattern to the flashbacks and it was hard to keep track of if you were in the past or the present.
- The cover makes it seem like a light rom-com and it was neither.
I had a little problem with the accents sometimes and I found his voice grated on me, but they worked for the ages of the characters. I think the audiobook may have made it harder to follow, so I would probably steer you to the print/ebook version.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 3.5 Stars, 3.5 Narration
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