About this book…
Set in 1980’s London, Helen Bartlett, a popular TV news presenter and Sam Aziz, a glamorous middle-eastern cardiac surgeon, meet on a live programme. They dislike each other on sight, and the interview is a disaster. But that is not the end of their story because later that evening, they find themselves at the same dinner party.
Over the weeks, hostility morphs into passion, and soon they fall desperately in love.
Both are looking for the right partner with whom to settle down and produce a family. They seem made for each other; they delight in the joy that they have found, and plan to marry. But then, the differences in their cultural backgrounds start to manifest themselves. And a debt of honour that Sam cannot ignore returns to haunt him.
Struggling with their torment, while she is so much in the public eye and he is performing life-saving surgery on a daily basis, places them under intolerable strain.
Must they relinquish the most magical relationship either of them has ever known? Can they find a way out of their dilemmas? Or do they have to accept that no matter how modern we are, we cannot fly in the face of the traditions that served, and shaped us, for centuries?
I really enjoyed Its Who We Are by Christine Webber so was intrigued to be able to read her first piece of fiction that she has recently reissued. It’s very different from her other books as it’s set in the 1980s and Christine has kept the period as it was instead of updating it to modern day. I love that the 1980s have now become practically historical fiction nowadays but it’s fascinating to see “the decade that fashion forgot” brought back to life here!
They say write what you know, so I suppose it’s no surprise that TV presenter Christine has written a book with a tv presenter at its heart! But Helen Bartlett has little in common with the author thankfully apart from being in front of the camera. When Helen interviews a distinguished but standoffish cardiac surgeon sparks fly but not of the good kind! Later on they discover each other again at a dinner party and get to know each other away from the camera. What follows is an intensely emotional love affair. But will they be able to overcome their cultural differences when they threaten to destroy all that is dear to them?
It was fascinating watching this blossoming romance take place in a different century! Yes I know that makes this story sound very old fashioned but to see lovers interact in the days before mobile phones, dating apps and emails was quite charming in a way! No Facebook pages to stalk ex boyfriends/girlfriends, no Google and having to stay by the home phone incase your loved one phoned you! Simpler times maybe but this was also a time before safe sex due to the AIDS epidemic and that brought its own set of problems. Christine Webber certainly brought the era of the shoulder pads and power dressing to life here with her accurate portrayal of a strong and independent woman who has met the love of her life and is prepared to give up everything to settle down and have a family. It may be difficult for us to understand the cultural dilemmas that they have to face but they are probably as relevant now as they were then. Sam had his British persona within his career and social life but at the end of the day he came from a different background where family honour and principles come above everything else.
This was an involving and touching love story that became very intense very quickly. I took a while to take to Helen, I’m not sure why but I did feel like she was a little standoffish to begin with and that put me off her! But gradually as she opened up to Sam, she also revealed herself to the reader and I warmed to her more and more as the narrative developed.
This is a thought provoking storyline explored with careful consideration by some captivating writing. And I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from Christine Webber in the near future!
I have a paperback copy of In Honour Bound to giveaway on my blog today! If you’d like to win it then please share this review over on Twitter and then comment “Shared” below. That’s all you need to do!
Competition is open to U.K. entrants only and will close on Friday 16th November. Winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries and be contacted on Twitter.
Meet the author…
After a break of 29 years to write over a dozen non-fiction titles, Christine Webber returned to writing fiction in 2016. The result was a novel called ‘Who’d Have Thought It?’ which is a romantic comedy about the change and challenges we encounter in mid life.
‘Who’d Have Thought It?’ is also available as an audio book – both in digital and CD format.
Her subsequent novel, ‘It’s Who We Are’, further explores the theme of the turbulence of mid-life. But it is also about the importance of friendships, particularly as we get older, and concerns the secrets in families that can force us to look at our own identities.
‘In Honour Bound’ is a different book altogether. Set in the mid-’80s, it is a story of passion between two people who come from completely different backgrounds – and how the pull of the past can threaten the present. Publication date: 6.11.18
Christine is a former singer, TV presenter, agony aunt, columnist and Harley Street psychotherapist.
Nowadays she is focusing on fiction – though she still broadcasts regularly.