Only One Life – Ashley Farley

Only One Life by Ashley Farley

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Thomas Allen & Son
Published: April 2019
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Family Relationships, Marriage Problems


This is a ‘‘did not finish’’ from me. I did not stop reading it because reading it pained me mentally or because I did not understand one thing. I stopped my reading because I did not see the point of finishing it. There is nothing I found myself captivated by. Not the storyline, not the characters, not the writing or narration style.

None of it is particularly interesting or impressive or well done. This is a pretty tragic story, and yet the way the author wrote the disheartening passages did not make me feel sad. It made me feel shocked, but only because they happened very fast, as though the author preferred to deal with/write about the aftermath more than the action itself. I was not okay with that.

It is rare for me not to like at least one character in a story, because usually more than four or five are featured, so feeling completely indifferent about that amount of people, or actually disliking them, does not make sense to me. There is often at least one secondary character I love and get attached to. But here, nothing. No one. Julia is a mess and she has every right to be but I could not relate to her situation at all. That is my problem, not the author’s, though. I am not a mother, nor a widow.

Her mother, Iris, whose point of view is also included, is another protagonist I tried to sympathize with. Bus alas, I have little patience for people who know they are in a bad situation or are making a mistake but do little to try to change their circumstances. This, again, is my problem for not being more understanding and patient with fictional people and situations.

Basically, I am simply not the right reader for this book. That or the author could work on making her writing more lyrical and affective and her characters easier to relate to.


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