A review of Someone Like you by Karly Lane

Reviewed by Carl Delprat

Someone Like you
by Karly Lane
Allen &Unwin
ISBN:9781760296896, 335pp, May 2018, Paperback

My first impressions of Someone Like You were mixed. I liked the cover design and could see this was being marketed to a particular niche. However, it presented as ‘women’s fiction’, and I’m a long way from that target market.  From the first page, the font selection, spacing and the delivery looked neat and easy to read, the words felt slippery and so easily flowed from my eye to brain. Quite often books are cramped up with wording so the readers have to immerse themselves within the script and then pry away at the narrative. Lane’s novel fitted into my mood like a pair of comfortable slippers, easy, friendly, and all so natural, it’s no wonder then that she is a successful author.

Not often does a fresh novel deliver such a welcome, on most occasions I have to spend the first couple of chapters acclimatising to the creator’s persona. The chapters of Someone Like You are  short and ideally suitable for commuters, or readers who have to contend with daily interruptions.
Lane uses a favourite method of mine for story construction. You first visit a sight, drink it in, then walk the walk and ever so slowly let your creativity release these invisible layers into a fresh story projected towards a world full of potential readers.

Lane has chosen Saint Albans, a NSW inland settlement located on the Macdonald River on the same latitude as Tuggerah and Central Mangrove fictionalised as Lochway. Lane’s characters are well-defined and likeable. Her narrative leaves an impression of familiarity and association. Using the central figure as an author automatically opened up a vault of her own personal experiences to relate with and enrich the book’s content.

The story follows bestselling author Haley Stevens as she has a marriage meltdown and quits the big city. She’s previously visited a small fictitious township located along the Macdonald River and it’s now the right time to kick-start her ‘sea-change.’ The book contains excellent descriptions of the tranquil setting and the characters keep this storyline uncomplicated. Local unattached males announce themselves then leave pheromones in their wake, sharing a shower and cracking skulls; birds cheep and parrots squawk while menageries of domestic animals appear then commence to multiply. Of course all is not as it seems, and Haley Stevens begins to experience visions, or perhaps flashbacks?This resonance from a past tragedy intrudes within Haley’s solitude and unsettles her comfort zone. Lane’s research is impeccable, and rings true. The book is well paced, and engaging from start to finish. 

About the reviewer: Carl Delprat is a prolific storyteller. His home is the Australian coastal city of Newcastle, New South Wales. Find his books at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CarlDelprat