The Idea of Love

The Idea Of Love - Louise Dean At the outset, I must admit that this book took me nearly three weeks to finish ... which, considering its relative brevity at 316 pages, is not good. It simply did not hold my attention as one might expect. This is a tale set in Provence, concerning two couples, their children, and one set of in-laws. Yet, for having so few characters, it is incredibly convoluted.One of the biggest problems with Dean's writing is that she seldom makes clear at the start of a new chapter which "he" or "she" happens to be the subject, and I found myself having to look back at previous chapters to piece together what was happening as the couples swapped spouses back and forth. The characters in question are not particularly likable, whih adds to the disengagement factor.There was one section which I thought showed promise, with one of the characters (a pharmaceutical salesman) attending a conference on depression and discovering that there were psychosocial factors to the illness -- or lack thereof -- which he had never considered. He shows some growth and new understanding a result, but the improvement in the book is sadly short-lived.(Review based on uncorrected advance proof.)