This is a light, happy, easy read that is sure to put you in a good mood. It’s also one of the few Somerville works which isn’t drenched in darkness and foreboding- and although I happen to like the darkness and foreboding, More Than A Thousand Words definitely made for a nice change.
There’s a lot to enjoy here: the writing is great, the pace is perfect, and the characters are very loveable. Luce is bright, temperamental, entertaining- and loves to wear skirts and nail polish. Steve is sturdy and adorably reliable- and 2000% just fine with whatever his unpredictable, gender-fluid boyfriend chooses to wear (indeed, those long, super-silky skirts are a real turn-on). They work together very well, and are sappy and sugary-sweet, in the best way possible. Which, of course, doesn’t mean they don’t have problems to work through- and it’s thoroughly satisfying to see the two work through them. Ultimately they’re the best kind of support for each other- and this is just the kind of romance I need regular injections of to keep my pessimism at bay.
More Than A Thousand Words can be connected to other Somerville works through Luce’s ‘Talent’- his ability to “see” the immediate pasts of the people he encounters. This is a nice touch for dedicated Somerville fans like myself, though I can’t help but feel that others might find Luce’s talent pointless for the story- or worse, simply a convenient plot-device. In any case, this book can be read without any previous knowledge of Somerville’s other works. The light supernatural element is ultimately a nice, though probably unnecessary, addition to a very enjoyable contemporary romance.
The only negative that really struck me was the opening scenes. I do find this to be the case with a lot of Somerville’s work; she seems to favour the “drop the audience right in the middle of the action” school of thought- make the beginning exciting and action-packed. In some cases, such as with this book, it results in an opening that is more frustratingly-confusing than exciting. Of course since I knew I’d end up loving the story before too long I could just grit my teeth through the first few pages and trust that the writing would settle down soon enough. I do worry that it might be a turn-off for readers browsing the preview chapters, however. My advice would be to keep reading; I’m sure you’ll enjoy this story as much as I did!
(reviewed 7 months after purchase)