“The No-Show” by Beth O’Leary Review

The No-Show, OLeary, Beth


The No-Show, O’Leary, Beth

“The No-Show” by Beth O’Leary is a heartwarming yet bittersweet story that will leave readers clinging to every last word.

The novel follows three extremely different young women who are, unknowingly, all dating the same man. After he stands up all three of them on Valentine’s Day, the truth slowly begins to unravel, piece by piece. The story continues to twist and turn until the full story is revealed, and it definitely isn’t one that anyone would expect.

The first of the women, Siobhan, is a life coach with a strict schedule and an even stricter sense of self. Miranda is a nurturing tree surgeon who focuses solely on providing for her sisters. Jane is a shy and reserved charity shop worker who refuses to leave her comfort zone.

The three women seem to have nothing in common on paper, besides the man that they all happen to be dating. This vagueness leaves the reader questioning if it’s just a coincidence that they have this deep connection, or if there’s a deeper reasoning as to why the three of them have ended up in this predicament.

The chapters bounce back and forth from each women’s point of view, sharing their sides to their complicated relationships with this man. Due to this, the reader is conflicted as to what to think: Who should I be rooting for? Should I be rooting for anyone? Is this man truly as bad as he seems, or is there a bigger story here?

While this plot structuring may seem confusing, I found it to be a success with this story in particular. These intense questions leave the reader wanting to turn the page and uncover all of the secrets that you know will eventually be revealed.

Additionally, as you continue on with the story, you get to know the characters deeply, and you find your emotions clashing more and more with each passing chapter. You’re constantly wondering things like: “If Jane stays with him, she might end up happier… but what about Siobhan and Miranda?” The better you get to know the characters, the more conflicting it becomes, because you know not everyone can end up with a happy ending.

O’Leary’s writing in this book is excellent. She is a master at characterization, adding in details that even the most seasoned of writers may overlook. She is able to make the characters feel so much more real by adding in their small niches and habits, the same kind that people like you and me have.

While I did feel that the story lagged at some parts, probably to try to keep the mystique of the mystery up and not move things too fast, the last 75 percent of this book was completely enthralling. Small plot points from earlier in the book begin to fall in place like puzzle pieces. The plot twists in this book were some of the best I have ever read. Reading this book made me truly admire O’Leary for being able to come up with a plot and a resolution that was unique and unlike anything else I have seen.

Overall, this was an eccentric and deeply personal novel that you can tell was crafted from a place of deep creativity. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery and unique characters.