cover image When You Were Mine

When You Were Mine

Elizabeth Noble, Touchstone, $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4391-5485-4

Bestseller Noble's (The Reading Group) new love story arrives slow and unfocused. Juggling past and present, Noble explains how Susannah met her first love, Rob, in secondary school and only separated from him when Rob left for the RAF after university. Today Susannah—approaching 40, childless, a failed marriage under her belt—is stuck in a dull long-term relationship with Doug, a man who hasn't allowed her to get close to his own children. So when Susannah unexpectedly runs into Rob, the old flame flares up. They begin seeing each other, but he's married and she's still committed to Doug, so the hot-and-bothered pair keep things platonic, for now. Meanwhile, Susannah helps a longtime friend through chemotherapy, allowing the author to explore an epic kinship. This lukewarm take on the classic tale of tragic love would have fared better had Noble come out of the gates running instead of leaving her protagonists—and her readers—in the dust of superfluous story lines. (Mar.)