Title: The No-Show
Author: Beth O’Leary
Narrators: Evanna Lynch , Heather Long , Kathryn Drysdale , Luke Thompson
Publication date: April 12, 2022
Print length: 352 pages
Audio length: 10 hours, 47 minutes
Genre: Contemporary romance
Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth.
These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: They’ve all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up–Valentine’s Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they’ve all been stood up by the same man.
Once they’ve each forgiven him for standing them up, they let him back into their lives and are in serious danger of falling in love with a man who seems to have not just one or two but three women on the go….
Is there more to him than meets the eye? And will they each untangle the truth before they all get their hearts broken?
Three women who seemingly have nothing in common find that they’re involved with the same man in this smart new rom-com by Beth O’Leary, bestselling author of The Flatshare.
It’s going to be hard to talk about The No-Show without giving away too much — but let me offer this caution up front: This book is delicious, and really and truly, you should avoid reading reviews that go into details. Trust me — not knowing is what’s in store is key to appreciating how great this story is.
As the book opens, we meet three women who have all been stood up by Joseph Carter: Siobhan waited for him for a breakfast date; Miranda sat at a restaurant way longer than she should have waiting for him to show up for lunch; and Jane ended up abandoned at an engagement party he’d promised to be her “friend date” for.
And all I could think through these initial chapters was: What a jerk! Who is this guy who (a) is dating three woman simultaneously and (b) is so rude and inconsiderate that he no-shows on all three of them?
There’s more to the story, of course. As the plot moves forward, told through chapters that alternate between Siobhan, Miranda, and Jane, we learn more about Joseph’s involvement with each woman — how they met, how their relationships developed, what their big challenges are. At the same time, we get to know each of these three women, and get to see how fabulous they are.
All quite different, Siobhan, Miranda, and Jane have distinct personalities and very different lives. Jane is perhaps the hardest to get a handle on — she’s scared and shy and completely lacking in self-esteem when we meet her, and it’s hard for us (and Joseph) to get past her protective shell to see the person she is inside.
Connections between the different characters’ worlds become apparent as the story unfolds. And just when I thought I had it all figured out (feeling rather self-satisfied, to be honest), it turns out that I didn’t. Beth O’Leary pulled the rug out from under me in an amazing way — and I love when fiction surprises me like that, giving me something that I didn’t see coming, but that completely fits and makes sense.
So… I absolutely refuse to give anything away about the plot, but let me just say that Joseph is not the jerk I initially suspected him of being, and that everything will eventually make sense!
I love the writing, the character development, and the fresh take on strong women who feel deeply and have interesting lives. The characters are all terrific, and for the audiobook, different narrators take the different characters’ chapters. The voices and delivery really suit each of the characters, and the whole story flows quickly and really works.
I was completely engaged, and as often happens with good audiobooks, I found myself dying for my next car ride or walk so I’d have an excuse to listen more! The audiobook even brought me to tears (but fortunately, I was alone in my car at the time, so managed to avoid public embarrassment over the waterworks).
Based on its cover, The No-Show seems like it should be a light, silly story, but really, it’s so much more than that. This book has light, romantic moments, but also deeply felt emotions, sorrow, and struggles, and really well told character arcs as well.
Definitely one of my favorite books of summer 2022!