About the Book
‘Not since Melina Marchetta’s Looking for Alibrandi has an Australian author presented the cross-cultural challenges of new Australians quite so beautifully. Beautiful Messy Love is my pick for 2017 book of the year’ AusRom Today
When football star Nick Harding hobbles into the Black Salt Cafe the morning after the night before, he is served by Anna, a waitress with haunted-looking eyes and no interest in footballers, famous or otherwise. Nick is instantly drawn to this exotic, intelligent girl. But a relationship between them risks shame for her conservative refugee family and backlash for Nick that could ruin his career.
Meanwhile, Nick’s sister, Lily, is struggling to finish her medical degree. When she meets Toby, it seems that for the first time she is following her heart, not the expectations of others. Yet what starts out as a passionate affair with a man still grieving after his wife’s death slips quickly into dangerous dependency.
Scarred by tragedy each in their own way, these warm, hopeful couples must overcome prejudice and heartbreak to prove just how much they will give for beautiful messy love.
A gorgeous, hard-hitting novel that touches on celebrity, asylum, cultural integration and family tragedy, this is a book with heart and soul.
Tess Woods writes magic. Her debut, Love at First Flight, had me feeling all kinds of ways, and recommending it wherever I could. Beautiful Messy Love is no different. I was a bit worried because I started this book with really high expectations, and wondered if I set the bar too high for Tess. But I quickly realized there was no need for that fear. I started reading this book on a Friday night, and Sunday morning flipped the final page. It is an intense story with such emotional connections between not the only characters, but also the reader to the characters. It is a longer book, but I never felt that it was stretched on unnecessarily, or any scene didn’t move the story in some way. I love that Tess was able to jump months at a time so seamlessly throughout the book, without feeling the need to overdo the gaps, and continued to get straight to the point. One of my favorite books of 2017, and one I highly recommend you add to your reading list.