Beautiful Messy Love by Tess Woods
PUBLISHED BY HARPER COLLINS
REVIEW BY BECK BORONA
Harper Collins has released the second novel of Perth author Tess Woods. It wasn’t until the first few pages that I realised it was a sequel to her first book, Love at First Flight. I really enjoyed Love at First Flight and I recommend reading it, yet Beautiful Messy Love can stand on its own as it takes on different characters, with only a few references to the events in the first book.
Western Australia is seen as being so far away and isolated in the world, so I like how Woods is helping to bring attention to the Perth setting in popular women’s fiction.
The story intertwines the lives of four people: Lily, Anna, Nick and Toby. They are all at very different stages of their lives and face different pressures, not only from their family and friends, but also society – displaying that love is indeed messy at times.
Woods puts her characters through complex issues such as mixed-race relationships, co-dependency, loss, media scrutiny, and racial stereotyping. Their journeys are heart-warming, heartbreaking and sometimes utterly frustrating.
I really enjoyed reading about Egyptian and Muslim culture through the character of Anna; she was easily my favourite. Given the recent events of the world, the more diversity in characters, the better!
I agree with other reviews comparing it to Offspring and Looking for Alibrandi. Footy fans will also enjoy and likely relate to Beautiful Messy Love. It’s a thought-provoking, spirited read with honest outcomes.
Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.