Book Reviews

The Way We Were by Elizabeth Noble – Book Review (No Spoilers)

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Copy of The Way We Were by Elizabeth Noble
First published 2010 by Michael Joseph. This edition published 2011 by Penguin Books. Paperback, 447 pages.

I bought The Way We Were over a year ago during a phase of buying lots of books from charity shops. The pretty cover and the synopsis appealed to me. There is an interesting reason why I ‘decided’ to read this book at this point in time. I recently made a ‘To be read’ jar and I picked it out of there, but coincidentally, at the exact same time, my friend also suggested I read it! I was obviously supposed to read this book.

What is The Way We Were about?

The story is written from the point of view of Susannah, a 39-year-old woman who is going through a somewhat difficult time in her life. Then, she has a chance meeting with her ex-boyfriend from 20 years ago and a spark re-ignites. Will they get back together? I won’t say as I don’t want to give spoilers away!

What is it like to read?

Many of the reviews on the cover of this book imply that it’s an emotional book, and difficult to read without shedding some tears! When I saw this, I thought, ‘Nah, I won’t cry’, because I very rarely cry at books. Well, I was right, I didn’t cry, but I wasn’t far off. It is a moving story, in more aspects than just the main romance.

I liked the characters, but I didn’t hugely warm to the main character, Susannah. It wasn’t that I disliked her, but I just didn’t relate to her much. I was a fan of Rob though, her ex-boyfriend, but it’s hard not to be as he is basically described as the perfect guy.

I liked the ‘side plots’ about Susannah’s step-children and her best friend, Amelia. In some ways, these were the most emotional parts of the book.

The book was engaging and it never got boring. I could sit and read it for hours and I didn’t find myself skimming past bits.

It wasn’t clear how the ending was going to turn out, until the very end. This is good because it means the book wasn’t too predictable. I would have loved to know what happened to all the characters after the story ends. An epilogue chapter would have been a great addition, in my opinion.

Did I learn anything from this book?

Due to the synchronous events that led me to read this book, I wondered if it would have a special meaning or message for me. I can’t say that anything jumped out at me, but here are a few lessons that all of us can take away from this book:

  • Realise the blessings in your life and don’t take them for granted.
  • If you are not happy, you need to take action and change things.
  • Be true to yourself and do what makes you happy, rather than doing things just to keep others happy.
  • Stay strong and stick it through the hard times.
  • Be loyal and be kind.

If you read this book, you will understand where these lessons came from!

Would I recommend The Way We Were?

I would definitely recommend this book, but perhaps don’t read it at a time when you are feeling especially emotionally sensitive, as it might trigger you! Elizabeth Noble has written several other books and I would definitely like to read some more of them.

You can buy The Way We Were on Amazon here.

I would rate this book 4 out of 5!

4 stars
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The Way We Were by Elizabeth Noble - Book Review


  1. Kathryn says:

    This sounds like a lovely story, although if it is emotional I doubt I’d get through it without shedding a tear. Thank you for sharing this lovely review.

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      If you tend to get emotional at books then you probably would shed a tear! It is a lovely book though! x

  2. This sounds like such an amazing book. I’ve not cried at a book before, but this does sound quite emotional. I love that the story wasn’t predictable xx

    Hannah |

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      I very rarely cry at books but this was definitely an emotional one! xx

  3. Amazing review! I’ll definitely have to check this book out because it sounds amazing!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      I recommend it, especially if you like this genre of books! x

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