Only One Woman by Christina Jones and Jane Risdon
Starting in 1968, this is the story of Renza and Stella, who fell in love with a charismatic budding rock star called Scott. The story is brilliantly told in diary form bringing the reader instantly into their worlds, their conflicted thoughts, and troubled emotions.
Firstly, we meet Renza in June 1968. Renza, is a sixteen-year-old girl with a miserable home life spent looking after her younger siblings, while being bullied mercilessly by her vile mother. She’s beautiful, sad and lonely, and when she meets Scott, a guitarist from Narnia’s Children, she can’t believe he is as attracted to her as she is to him. Unfortunately, she has to move to Germany with her demanding family a couple of months after they meet.
Stella is gorgeous and has more experience of life than Renza. She writes short stories and carries out interviews for magasines and works at a job she hates. Stella has health issues and is frequently doubled up in pain, which causes issues with her boyfriend Mike, who long ago ran out of sympathy for the poor girl. Then, in December Stella goes to a concert with her friend and meets Scott.
Both women fall for the tall, dark-haired Adonis from Jersey. He’s funny, attentive and a sensation on stage. Although he and Renza are in a long-distant relationship, he and Stella enjoy each other’s company, keeping in touch and becoming close.
The girls’ stories are set in the UK, Germany and Jersey. I thoroughly enjoyed being transported back to the sixties in this excellent book where the two girls’ stories are cleverly interwoven. I expected to like one more than the other, or have stronger feelings on their behalf for, or against, Scott. However, I loved Renza for her innocence and for her daily battle to overcome her horrible home life. I loved Stella, for her guts and for making the most of the situations in which she found herself, despite everything that was happening… won’t say too much because I hate reading spoilers in reviews. Stella is everything I wish I had been when I was younger – it I’d had the guts… oh, yes, and the opportunities she had in this book! I probably should have been angry with Scott, but the way their story is told, I found that I could understand why both women had the relationship they did with him. Plus, he was gorgeous!
Being whisked back to Jersey in the sixties, was exciting! I was very small then, so don’t really remember it much, but could see it through Stella’s eyes and it was glorious. I want to go back there now. Basically, I loved this book, the characters, settings and the complex relationships. I’ll probably read it again, simply to relive it again.
A nostalgic treat, with a delicious hero and two fabulous heroines.
Buy your copy of Only One Woman here.
Star rating 10