The theme of change in The Art of Loving You

We’re delighted that Amelia Henley returns with her latest romantic but heart-breaking novel, The Art of Loving You, on July 22nd. An important theme of the book is how we adapt when change arrives unexpectedly, and this is a subject matter close to Amelia’s heart and own experience too as she explains in an exclusive piece for the HQ blog.

The Theme of Change in The Art of Loving You by Amelia Henley

When I began writing The Art of Loving You in 2019, I had no idea that by its 2021 publication the story would become so relatable to virtually everyone.

In my second love story, Libby and Jack think they have their life figured out. With the help of their dear friend, eighty-year-old Sid, they’ve bought their first home together and have big personal and business plans for the next few years. But then unexpectedly tragedy strikes, the future suddenly uncertain, and huge compromises and sacrifices have to be made in order to move forward.

When I began writing I drew from my own experience, exploring the emotions I’d felt after my own life veered off course and my carefully laid plans couldn’t come to fruition.

I’d spent years training as a naturopathic kinesiologist and building up a complementary therapy practice when a car accident exacerbated a pre-existing health condition, causing some new damage, and whisked away my mobility. In an instant, everything changed. No longer able to stand unaided, I couldn’t practise anymore, and the future looked very bleak. I’d lost my health, my business, my social life and my sense of identity, but worst of all I had lost my hope. When I’d spent so long planning and imagining the shape of my future, how could I even begin to envisage starting again?

And yet somehow, much like the people in my story who became so dear to me (particularly eighty-year-old Sid who was such a joy to write), I did. 

While the world has been gripped by a pandemic, most of us have had to make drastic changes to our day-to-day life as well as altering, postponing, or cancelling our plans for the future.

The characters in my book, like the majority of us, couldn’t begin to imagine their world ever feeling ’normal’ again. But little by little, they carved out a new path and found new hopes and dreams to hold on tightly to.

The Art of Loving You is a story of resilience, hope and courage, drawing on the power of friendship and family.

It’s the story of never giving up, finding happiness and moving forward after you fear all has been lost.

But, most of all, it’s a story about love.

The Art of Loving You is out next Thursday. You can buy your copy from your local independent bookshop, bookshop.org, Hive, Waterstones and Amazon.

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