It says on the cover of the book `Meet your new obsession' and I can honestly say that I did get obsessed with this book.` if I can`t have you' is written by a new author named Charlotte Levin and it was published in 2020 although I did not buy my copy of it until September 2021. This is the author`s first book and I am looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.
The Main Characters
The main character in the story is a twenty something woman named Constance. Right from the start of the story the author makes the reader aware that there is something not quite right about Constance but to begin with we are made to feel sorry for her. She has lost her mother earlier in the year and now she is living alone in London. Constance does not seem to have any other family and her friendship seems to be limited to a young male house mate named Dale.
She has recently had a bit of luck though when she got herself a job as a doctor`s receptionist at a private medical practice near to her current home. She had not been working there long when one of the doctors dies in a freak accident and a new doctor soon takes over his patients. The new doctor is Dr. Samuel Stevens who is in his mid thirties.
Very soon into the story, Constance feels attracted to the new doctor and he seems to like her too. Even though they know it is wrong, they soon begin an affair. This is wrong on so many levels because their workplace does not allow it and Samuel is still married to his estranged wife. It does seem that ,even though he is a charismatic doctor to his patients and other staff at the surgery, this doctor is not in fact a very nice man.
There are several other characters who all have their place in this story. I have already mentioned Dale who lives at the same address as Constance where they both rent a small bedsit each . Dale is single and he wants to be more than a friend to Constance and she is very aware of his feelings for her. She is unable to be more than a friend to him because she is mixed up with the doctor. Dale does get a bit obsessed with Constance and she has to lie to him about her affair because she knows that she wants to keep Dale as a friend. In fact Dale is there for her when bad things happen to her . He is always having a go at her because she does appear to be drinking more alcohol than is good for her. She resents his interference but she badly needs him as a friend because it seems like she has nobody else in the world.
The other characters who have important part in the story are the members of staff and the other doctors who work at the medical practice. The staff are mainly the other receptionists that Constance does not want to be friends with although they try to make her welcome when she first starts to work with them. One of these women was actually in love with the poor doctor who died even though he was already married.
As I said earlier in this review, there seems to be more to Constance than meets the eye. This is often hinted at throughout the story when the reader is taken back to events on Constance`s past. These flashbacks often involve her mother who we know died earlier. There seems to be some mystery in the way that Constance and her mother lived and this could be down to the fact that her mother had been somebody who had a lot of problems. We are lead to believe that because of this Constance did not have a very happy childhood. Her father is also a mystery because he apparently went missing and Constance tells another doctor in the story that nobody knew what happened to him.
We are also lead to believe that Constance herself had done something dreadful in her past. There are clues to all these past mysteries throughout the story when Constance speaks to Dr Franco who is a psychology doctor and offers Constance his services for free when he finds out how recently she had lost her mother. Although she resents this sort of help because she thinks she does not need it, Dr Franco does seem to be able to find out more about the mysterious Constance.