Reading ‘Desperately Seeking’

This was perhaps a little bit of a shameful scoop off the pdsa shelves; Desperately Seeking might suggest that the reader is also… desperately seeking. But, hey, who cares what your fellow tube travellers think of you! So, aside from occasionally hiding the front cover of the book for fear of emotionally unstable assumptions, I did enjoy the read. In fact, it was not nearly as desperate as I had expected, and so the title is perhaps misleading, though it did make me grab for it so job done Evelyn Cosgrave.

'Desperately Seeking' Evelyn Cosgrave
‘Desperately Seeking’ Evelyn Cosgrave

Desperately Seeking presents us with Kate, a woman who has very recently accepted the proposal from her human security blanket, Keith, but is far from certain about it. She comes to retell how he was the man to follow a year long affair with a married man (which will never end well) and she rather fell into a long term relationship. She doesn’t partake in the immediate wedding excitement which would seem normal and instead looks for distractions in the company of her large family. Kate only thrusts herself into action when her middle-aged, married flame turns up unexpectedly. But by then, is it too late?

Even though Cosgrave presents us with a story that is universally understood (the heart wrenching uncertainty of love) I didn’t feel enthralled by the text; enjoyable, yes; relatable, yes; but it didn’t surprise me, it didn’t pull at my heart strings, it was… nice. The book perhaps gives away too much. How could our leading lady go through with marrying a man when she starts the book with ‘As soon as I heard myself say I would marry him, I knew I had hit rock bottom.’ That doesn’t suggest a happily-ever-after for Double K. I had an inkling about the story lines which, oh yes, popped up later in the plot.

Desperately Seeking was a good read, and easy to pick up for those quick tube trips, but it is not, for me, a book that I would pass over to friends or would have me come away thinking. No, I came away fairly contented yet uninspired.

…I wonder, should we ever really be desperately seeking? It seems similar to the phrase ‘a watched pot never boils.’ In a relationship, or in the pursuit of love, would desperation not be more likely to push away your prospective matches than attract them? If someone ‘screams of desperation’ then that’s a ton of pressure that most relationships just do not need. Being desperate is surely the sign that too much energy and reliance is being put on this one goal. Desperation is not a charming quality for any character, so perhaps we should distract our desperation, amuse ourselves in other active ways (take up salsa dancing), then maybe that once watched pot might unexpectedly come up to boil. After all, being surprised by love is always wonderful.

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