The Other Side of the Story: Theo by Amanda Prowse

The Other Side of the Story: Theo by Amanda Prowse

Imagine being engrossed in a spellbinding love story and falling in love with the characters, but instead of the book ending and you feeling adrift, you have the chance step back into that same story again – but from another character’s perspective. 

Such is the case with Theo, the second of a pair of books from bestselling British author Amanda Prowse. Last month we reviewed the heartbreaking and moving Anna. The follow-up, Theo, isn’t a sequel so much, as the other side of the story, written from the perspective of Theo.

Like Anna’s story, the novel begins with Theo’s early years. The young Theo may have been born into a wealthy family in an upmarket London suburb, vastly different to the poverty in which Anna grew up, but his upbringing is far from classy in other respects. Theo is carted off to boarding school. It’s the same one his wealthy father attended, but where his father is very proud of his alma mater, Vaizey College is pure misery for Theo. The other boys bully him mercilessly and he has no friends, other than the old caretaker who feels sorry for him.   

Later, Theo finds some happiness at university with his working class, northern friend, Spud, with whom he shares a flat. But his domineering parents still rule his life and his entrepreneurial father is furious when he switches from engineering to social policy.

After a disastrous fling with an old school crush, Theo stops studying and is forced into his father’s property business in London, a job for which he has no connection or passion.

Only when he meets Anna one day at work do things start to look rosy. In Anna, Theo might have found his soul mate. But although he seems like a man who has everything –  looks, money, success – Theo is flawed, deeply scarred by his oppressive, dysfunctional family. Failing to learn from his parent’s mistakes, he doesn’t reveal the truth to Anna about his history, and once they’re committed, it’s too late. Despite their intense love for one another, when Anna longs to start her own family, things start to unravel.

Theo is a moving novel about the long shadows cast by a poisonous past. A cautionary tale about how we can cede control to the bad stuff that’s happened and fail live up to our potential. Or, how we can own our experiences and learn from them for a very different outcome.

Emotional and heartbreaking in parts, Theo is ultimately uplifting with an ending neither too glib or convenient, but one in which it seems that the natural order of things in the universe have been restored and the reader feels well pleased.

The speedy, almost back-to-back publication of two standalone novels presenting two angles to the one story, is an intriguing curve-ball in the world of fiction. Readers who enjoyed Anna will love Theo both for what it reveals and because, as we know, there really always are two sides to every story. 

About the author

Amanda Prowse is the author of several novels including bestsellers What Have I Done?, Perfect Daughter and My Husband’s Wife. Her books have sold millions of copies worldwide and she is published in dozens of languages. The Daily Mail (UK) has hailed her as ‘Britain’s ‘queen of domestic drama.’ 

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Publisher details

Theo
Author
Amanda Prowse
Publisher
HarperCollins
Genre
Fiction
Released
01 April, 2018

Synopsis

here are two sides to every love story... Anna Cole grew up in care, and wants to start a family of her own. Theo Montgomery had a loveless childhood, and wants to find his soulmate. Then, one day, Theo meets Anna, and Anna meets Theo. Each shows the other how to love. And each shows the other what heartbreak feels like... This is Theo's story.

Synopsis

Now Sicily lies in ruins while the disease lies in wait, poised to claim the children as they reach adolescence.Brave, stubborn thirteen-year-old Anna looks after her brother Astor in the cottage where their mother’s skeleton rests, lovingly decorated, in a locked bedroom. She tells him fearsome stories about monsters, hoping to keep him safe at home while she forages among the real hazards. Wild dogs. Gangs of savage, blue-painted kids.But then Astor starts to question Anna’s version of the world, just as the blue kids are turning their attention to the cottage-and suddenly, everything will change.About the AuthorNiccolo Ammaniti was born in Rome in 1966. He has written two collections of short stories and six novels, four of which have been translated into English. He was the youngest ever winner of the Italian Viareggio Literary Prize for Fiction for his best-selling novel I'm Not Scared, which has been translated into thirty-five languages.The Crossroads received the Premio Strega Prize in 2007, Italy's equivalent to the Booker Prize.
Amanda Prowse
About the author

Amanda Prowse

Amanda Prowse is the author of several novels including the number 1 bestsellers What Have I Done?, Perfect Daughter and My Husband's Wife. Her books have sold millions of copies worldwide, and she is published in dozens of languages. Described by reviewers as 'the queen of family drama', Amanda's characters and stories are often inspired by real life issues.The research for her books has led to partnerships with ITV and Femail among others. Amanda lives in Bristol with her husband and two sons. As her many twitter followers know, she almost never switches off. But when she does, she can be found drinking tea in her favourite armchair, scribbling ideas for her next book.

Books by Amanda Prowse

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