REVIEW: Almost Love By Louise O’Neil

Almost Love by Louise O’Neil explores the notion of obsessive love. 

It is a captivating story which focuses on 24-year old Sarah, an unlikable yet relatable character who falls for Mathew, 20 years her senior. 

Her desire to please him leaves her on the verge of losing her job. Mathew’s a highly successful property developer who’s married with a teenage son. 

His relationship with Sarah is non-existent, reduced to rushed encounters at a Dunlin hotel room. Despite their sexual relationship they share no intimacy.

Mathew is content with keeping Sarah a secret. 

He has power over Sarah, dictating the time, place and duration of their hook-ups. 

Sarah obliges, reduced to waiting by her phone and placing herself at Mathew’s beck-and-call, desperate for his attention. 

Over time Sarah becomes a shell of her former self, sacrificing everything to be with him. 

The reader is drawn in as Sarah manages to lose herself completely to a toxic obsessive love, questioning if she’s good enough. 

It is a great read because it’s gritty, raw, and honest but at times a difficult read. Sarah comes across as an unlikable person, unable to see how badly she’s being treated. 

Yet it’s her flawed character that makes her relatable, drawing you into the story. 

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