Let's Meet on Platforn 8 by Carole Matthews Book Review (SPOILERS)

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Title: Let's Meet on Platform 8
Author: Carole Matthews
Publisher: Red Dress Ink
Pages: 304
Publication date: 1st January 1997
Genre: Chick-lit

A bad story, written well.

I've read a few Carole Matthews books over the years, and I've never really disliked any of them. But Let's Meet on Platform 8 might just be the book that came closest to the making that statement a lie.

It follows the story of Teri and Jamie who bump into each other (quite literally) on platform 8 of a London train station, and their love soon blossoms. However, Jamie is a married man to Pamela and they have two children together, which leaves both of them in a bit of a whadda-we-do kinda predicament.

What they do, is meet on the same train every morning, and again after work, in secret behind Pamela's back. Yes, Jamie and Teri sleep together, and yes, Pamela also cheats on Jamie with her boss, and no Jamie doesn't leave his wife for Teri and everything kinda ends happily ever after for Jamie and Pamela (sort of) when his job announces that he is being relocated. But the constant sickness that Teri put down to a an overindulgence of a failed romantic meal in, might just have something to do with the her and Jamie sleeping together.

And that's pretty much how the story goes.

It's nothing groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the first three quarters of the book are a bit - okay a lot - flat and it's pretty much Jamie just sulking that he has a wife but he loves Teri also.

This is Carole Matthews' debut novel and it was released back in 1997. This book might have been a thriving chick-lit novel back then, who knows (I certainly don't) but reading this in 2019 makes for a pretty bland read, and that's got nothing to do with Carole Matthews writing style - in fact, I think the book would have been even more bland had it not been Carole Matthews writing it.

The story was one that I didn't click with. I understand the meaning behind the story - adultery will get you nowhere and relationships can be complicated. No marriage is perfect and often things become stale and bit lacklustre. I didn't sympathise with any of the characters except Charlie and Clare. Teri and Jamie were far too self absorbed and Pamela was a bitch to her husband even before he had an affair, but then she suddenly decided that him having an affair meant that she had to try harder in their marriage and show Jamie the love that he deserves (but does he though hun?) The ending brought no closure to the story either, and brought a typical and predictable chick-lit twist that you could see coming from a mile off which meant it wasn't really that much of a shock.

What I will give credit for though, is that considering this book is now 22 years old, it didn't come off as dated. Yes, there were typical 90's references in it, but it didn't interfere with the reading style in any way.

I wouldn't recommend it. And I wouldn't re-read it. It's not Carole Matthew's best work, and it's far from being her best book. However, I am glad I've read it purely because I am a fan of Carole Matthews and I'm glad I have her first novel in my collection, but that's as far as it goes in terms of my gratitude for this book.

Verdict: ★★

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