Love is On the Air
Cam Simpson has been going out with Dean for six years. It’s a comfortable, cosy life and Dean is everything she could possibly want – dependable, manly and generous. Or he once was. He seems more interested in football than her these days and, if she dared to admit it, their relationship has become a little predictable. But isn’t that what happens when you’ve been with someone for that long? Deciding all she needs is a holiday with the girls she sets off for Tenerife with her two best friends. Almost immediately she meets single-father Tom and rather disturbingly feels that lost spark ignite. But blaming the sun, sea and sangria, she returns home ready to recapture what she and Dean once had.
Until one morning, over the radio, Cam hears ‘Tom has written in to the show. He came back from holiday in Tenerife a couple of weeks ago and wants to trace a lovely woman he met there. The woman’s name is Cam…’ With the man she’s decided to commit herself to sitting right there beside her, Cam knows she can’t brush this one under the carpet. And she is forced to finally ask herself the crucial question: should she settle for Mr Good Enough or risk it all for Mr Maybe He’s The One?
I had just finished reading Room by Emma Donoghue when I boarded a plane to Fuerteventura last week… and as excellent as it was, I needed to read something far less intense as soon as I hit the beach. Jane Moore’s Love Is On The Air, with its summery cover, was my choice for some light holiday reading.
The story is told by Cam. She’s been in a comfortable relationship with her boyfriend Dean for six years, and is getting more than a little irritated by his laid back attitude to their relationship. In an attempt to escape from the rut, she books a holiday to Tenerife with her friends… where a handsome stranger, Tom, instantly catches her attention. Back home a few weeks later, Tom sends out a message on the radio, trying to find the wonderful Cam that he met on holiday. And Dean is sat right next to her as she hears it. Awkward.
I expected the plot to become a ‘Dean vs Tom’ decision, but Moore handled the situation much more tactfully. The main focus of the story is not, as you might expect, about Cam falling for her holiday romance and needing to choose between two people. Instead, it focuses on Cam’s decision about her existing relationship – and whether “comfortable” is the same as “bored”. Moore has expressed Cam’s thoughts and emotions in a sensitive, believable way, which is important when her situation is one that many people may have experienced.
Cam was an OK character, but not particularly memorable. I felt the right amount of sympathy for her, but there were certain aspects to her personality that felt a little forced. It was mentioned on a few occasions that she was a bit of a control freak, but apart from organising a few social events, it didn’t seem that apparent – I suppose there were a few moments where it felt like we were told something, rather than shown.
The supporting characters, however, were very well written. Dean’s laid back attitude was brilliant; Moore has created a character who isn’t a terrible boyfriend as such, just lacking the effort needed in his relationship. His personality was believable (although I did feel like he let Cam get away with way too much at times) and he’s not painted as a ‘bad guy’, which adds to the realism of their relationship. Cam’s two best friends, Saira and Ella, and Cam’s family also take starring roles in the book, with interesting subplots that helped to explain Cam’s feelings on love and relationships.
Love Is On The Air is exactly the ‘easy beach read’ I was looking for when I chose this book, and I liked the way Moore has explored a variety of common relationship issues. It strikes me as a story that many people could relate to, and with its sprinkle of predictable chick lit romance, it made an enjoyable holiday companion.