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A Meeting In Seville by Paul A. Mendelson

August 28, 2018

 

The Blurb

 

A Meeting in Seville follows a couple whose marriage is on the rocks. They return to Seville on Semana Santa (Easter) for a `second honeymoon', a gift from their daughter, only to encounter their own younger selves, on their first honeymoon exactly 30 years earlier. William Sutherland (53), is stressed, work-obsessed and alienated from his vibrant Spanish wife Luisa (52), whom he suspects of an affair with old friend and current business partner Sandy. He could do without a 30th anniversary gift from their concerned daughter. When they encounter their happily-honeymooning selves, (Will 23 and Lu 22) they think they've gone mad. Somehow two worlds have collided in this unchanging city - yet the only element of the other era is that the two couples can see each other. William and Luisa recognise `themselves' but the youngsters think they're simply a nice if fractious couple here in Seville in 1988. William is drawn to the appealing young woman his wife once was. Whilst Luisa looks in sadness at the couple these sweet lovers have become. But Sandy, William's best-man was also in Seville that long-ago week. Was this when the fatal `attraction' took hold? When William accidentally discovers that he has the ability to tamper with history, he contrives to ease the young Sandy out of Luisa's life but soon finds his efforts turning into something more potent...

 

About Paul A. Mendelson

 

Paul A. Mendelson is a British writer known for his work on TV and radio. His comedy series include the BAFTA-nominated BBC series May to December as well as So Haunt Me and My Hero. He wrote Losing It, a film for ITV starring Martin Clunes, which was nominated for the Televisual Best Writing Award. Paul wrote the Radio 4 plays I am I said, Fireworks at the Villa Lucia and A Meeting In Seville. Recent radio dramas have included 6 adaptations of Joyce Porter's crime novels about the Chief Inspector Wilfred Dover and the highly-acclaimed CS Forester dramatisations, CS Forester's London Noir. Paul created the cult series Neighbors From Hell, broadcast in the US. He has written two new US pilots and three movies with LA screenwriter Alan Moscowitz and is also developing comedy and drama projects elsewhere. Paul recently published In the Matter of Isabel (which is currently being developed as a film) and Losing Arthur last year with The Book Guild.

 

My Review

 

A Meeting In Seville had an ingenious premise that a married couple of thirty years, William and Luisa Sutherland, return to the place of their honeymoon and happen, by chance, to meet their young newly-wed selves, Will and Lu. 
The book was exquisitely written with a gentle humorous style and outstanding descriptions which were almost cinematic, placing me, the reader, slap bang in the middle of the crowded narrow streets during Semana Santa, the Easter week celebrations, with it's magnificent floats carried by the various brotherhoods of the many churches, contrasting with other traditions autonomous to the region such as flamenco and bullfighting. 
For me the unique selling point of the novel was the multiple-reality narrative, reminiscent of 'Sliding Doors' and 'Groundhog Day', where the message is stepping back from oneself or one's relationship and attempting to change destiny. I found this totally mind blowing. 
I strongly recommend to all my book loving friends, not to miss out on this five star gem of a book.

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