Playing on Cotton Clouds
When arty Livy falls for her sister’s boyfriend, she knows her dreams are unlikely to come true…
Sensitive Seth thinks he has hit the jackpot when the girl of his dreams finally looks his way…
While laidback Aidan is every girl’s hero.
Fast forward twenty-five years as carefree youth turns into adulthood responsibilities, relationships begin and end, music and fashion change, and life moves on with its successes, failures and heartaches. As the friends grow up, they discover life rarely turns out the way you imagined it at fifteen.
The rites of passage through years are eerily familiar to every 1980s teenager in this moving, heartfelt novel.
Playing on Cotton Clouds drew me in from the opening scene. 16-year-old Aidan has sneaked up the drain-pipe to get up to naughty business in Alison’s bedroom while her parents are downstairs, blissfully unaware. The story follows the fate of Aidan and friend Seth. Seth is the quieter of the two; a darker and more melancholic soul, who turns his hand to writing, quite successfully it seems.
Seth is smitten with Tara – gorgeous, stylish, confident – and they even date for a while. But then there’s a good dose of sibling rivalry involved, as it seems Tara’s sister Livy has the hots for Seth – and indeed it is her who picks up the pieces with him time and time again.
The thing I loved about this book was the writing style – modern, fresh, funny, contemporary – bordering on chick lit but leaning more towards the style of Lisa Jewell or David Nicholls. In fact, the chapters separated by successive years reminded me a little of One Day, although O’Brien tackles a good few central characters while she traces their journey over the years.
I loved this book and devoured it in a couple of days. I also shed a tear on a few occasions – it is heart-warming and emotional. It will be a novel I will re-read just to soak up the writing style again.