Updated: Jun 29, 2021
It’s review time! I’d seen Seven Days in June by Tia Williams popping up here and there and I was intrigued by the story and drawn in by the beautiful cover and then Traci from The Stacks, a self-confessed non-romance reader, raved about it, and I knew I had to read it asap. I love romance, it’s my favourite and most read genre, so to hear someone that isn’t a romance lover urge people to read this book, I knew it was something special. I was good though and I went in with no expectations other than to read a nice romance story, there’s nothing like being let down by the hype.
Let’s start with the synopsis shall we:
Seven days to fall in love, fifteen years to forget and seven days to get it all back again... From the author of The Perfect Find, this is a witty, romantic, and sexy-as-hell new novel of two writers and their second chance at love. Brooklynite Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning literary author who, to everyone's surprise, shows up in New York. When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their past buried traumas, but the eyebrows of New York's Black literati. What no one knows is that twenty years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. They may be pretending that everything is fine now, but they can't deny their chemistry-or the fact that they've been secretly writing to each other in their books ever since. Over the next seven days in the middle of a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect, but Eva's not sure how she can trust the man who broke her heart, and she needs to get him out of New York so that her life can return to normal. But before Shane disappears again, there are a few questions she needs answered. . . With its keen observations of Black life and the condition of modern motherhood, as well as the consequences of motherless-ness, Seven Days in June is by turns humorous, warm and deeply sensual.
The book flits between the present day and fifteen years ago, where we see a younger Eva and Shane. Normally I find it a little difficult to keep up when books jump around in time but this one was easy to follow and it truly served its purpose of helping you understand more of who Eva and Shane were then and how it has shaped them now, even if it is only told from Eva’s POV.
What I really enjoyed about this book is its portrayal of hidden disabilities and illnesses. I feel that, for me at least, if this is included in a book it is the sole focus of the book and is often shown that the person or people can’t have full and meaningful lives, but as someone who struggles with a ‘hidden’ chronic illness I know this not to be the case and it was wonderful to see this shown in Seven Days in June.
Whilst this book firmly fits into the romance category, the other themes within the book of family, history, hidden disabilities, mental health, addiction, motherhood, career and more, mean that love and romance are not the sole focus of the story, ensuring that it isn’t an overwrought and highly predictable 300 pages. Instead, it felt more that you were peaking inside someoneS real life, watching them navigate these things. Essentially, Williams writes these characters so well and has fleshed them out to the point that they truly felt real. Can we also take a moment to appreciate the wonder, hilarity and precociousness that is Audre?
Essentially, it reminded me that love, like people, is flawed. Nothing, no one and no love story is perfect, and it is these imperfections that make us, our stories and histories unique to us. Whilst that may be difficult to understand or accept and the time, we should appreciate and cherish these, relinquishing our need for ‘perfection’ in every part of our life because that just isn’t real.
This book was a joy to read, covering a vast array of topics but in a sensitive manner. I would highly recommend and will definitely be picking up whatever Tia Williams writes next!
Thanks to Net-Galley and Quercus for a free copy of this book.
If you do plan on reading this book, please note some trigger warnings: self-harm, addiction, abuse, mental health, hidden disabilities and illnesses.