A Love Of Two Halves
By PJ Whiteley
About the book
George Mowatt, management consultant-turned entrepreneur, is one of the wealthiest people in Britain. Karen Barnes, a single mum living in a terraced house in south Leeds, is not. When George decides that his third home should be close to the stadium of his beloved sports team, they become neighbours. Both George and Karen have been unlucky in love and the chemistry between them is instant. Yet their lives are a world apart, and their hearts keep missing each other’s beat.
The gulf in their experiences presents a culture clash, while the difference in income raises questions over whether George’s appeal lies in his character, or his solvency. Karen’s feelings are genuine: she detects kindness, generosity and a hint of melancholy about George. Moreover, hints that his business could be in trouble cause her to wonder if he was actually in debt. George is fascinated by how a smart, attractive Mum with a talented teenage daughter could be single and clearly struggling, and he loves her quick wit and sweet nature.
The rooms that they dare not, or cannot, enter are imaginary, physical and metaphorical. Karen is haunted by a recurring dream in which she discovers there are magical upstairs rooms in her house, that she is delighted to explore. For George, the rooms he does not enter are real: the family rooms in his large Surrey home that lie unused after his divorce. Both have to find the keys to open doors to new ways of understanding and expressing themselves, if they are to find love.
Just as they begin to chart a route to happiness, someone from Karen’s past reappears, and she is forced to reveal a secret she has kept from them both. The Rooms We Never Enter is a funny, heartfelt tale of missed opportunities, unlikely romance and a love that seems to be forever out of reach. It also raises sharp questions over the extent to which traditional gender roles have really changed in modern Britain.