Exciting Times was an absolute delight to read, it had me in stitches throughout. Dolan’s observations of expat life and personality traits creates a story that is packed full of humour, honesty and astute remarks from Ava, the main character.
Ava has moved to Hong Kong to teach English grammar, and to get away from her family in Ireland. There is nothing wrong with her family, Ava just likes space and the way her family knows everyone else’s business is not for her. Despite the thousands of miles separating her from them, and her giving way little on the phone, her mum and brother still seem to know a lot of Eva’s business… they sure know her well and are very perceptive to her vagueness!
When Ava meets Julian, she’s unsure of what their relationship is… he lets her sleep in his spare room, he doesn’t introduce her as anything other than “Ava” to his friends but yet he introduces her to his father. What are they to one another?
Julian’s work takes him back to London for months, leaving Ava all alone in his apartment. And then along comes Edith.
Edith is the complete opposite to Julian. Whilst he’s vague, she’s a sharer. He’s unclear on his feelings whereas Edith puts hers clearly on the table. Does Ava love Edith? Does she love Julian? Can you love two people at the same time?
As Ava goes on this expat/love life/learning how to teach journey she discovers a lot. She observes how the english don’t speak english properly anymore, with her incredibly witty remarks. She witnesses first hand how the other half life. And she has to make a pivotal decision: who does she love.
I absolutely loved this story, it was refreshingly different. I said on twitter it’s the kind of book that makes you want to whip out a highlighter and actually highlight a tonne of the lines within it – some absolute belters on every page!
I ADORED IT!
Exciting Times is out now in hardback and eBook versions from W&N.
Until next time, Chloé x
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