A novel about love, music and coming to terms with the past, from the author of the international bestseller The Rosie Project.
On the cusp of fifty, Adam Sharp has a loyal partner, earns a good income as an IT contractor and is the music-trivia expert at quiz nights. It’s the lifestyle he wanted, but something’s missing.
Two decades ago, on the other side of the world, his part-time piano playing led him into a passionate relationship with Angelina Brown, who’d abandoned law studies to pursue her acting dream. She gave Adam a chance to make it something more than an affair—but he didn’t take it. And now he can’t shake off his nostalgia for what might have been.
Then, out of nowhere, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously? How far will he go for a second chance?
Graeme Simsion was born in Auckland and is a Melbourne-based writer of novels, short stories, plays, screenplays and two non-fiction books. The Rosie Project began life as a screenplay, winning the Australian Writers Guild/Inscription Award for Best Romantic Comedy before being adapted into a novel. It went on to win the 2012 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript and has since been sold around the world to over forty countries. Sony Pictures have optioned the film rights with Graeme contracted to write the script. The Rosie Project won the 2014 ABIA for Best General Fiction Book, and was ultimately awarded Australian Book of the Year for 2014. The sequel, The Rosie Effect, was released in 2014 to great acclaim and also became a bestseller. His new book is The Best of Adam Sharp.
In Simsion's third novel (after The Rosie Effect), an email from an old flame, Angelina Brown, spurs British computer guy Adam Sharp to reassess what he wants from life. Though their affair was short-lived and over two decades before, Adam still believes Angelina is his soul mate. He's been involved with Claire for decades, but their relationship is mostly practical, and a business deal might require her to move from England to the U.S. Email flirtations with Angelina escalate into Skype conversations and culminate in an invitation to join Angelina and her affable husband, Charlie, at their vacation house in France. At this point, Sharp's book takes an unexpected turn. What seems like a run-of-the-mill chick-lit tale about "the one that got away" becomes a complicated exploration of marriage, what it means to love someone, and how life gets in the way. Adam propels himself into this situation assuming he knows how things are going to play out. Charlie turns out to be more than his amiable, accommodating first impression would indicate, and Angelina shows facets of herself that are a touch more complicated than the girl-of-Adam's-dreams trope. The contrast almost makes this feel like two different novels. The story winds down with a great passive-aggressive song trivia contest, and Simsion delivers an ending that feels hard-won and true, though readers will have to tough out getting there with a little patience.