Twice upon image

TEARAWAY Maverick EMMA SHI reviews Twice Upon a Time by Kate Forster.

In this fairytale-like story, main character Cinda, when she travels to Italy, meets Ludo, a Sardinian prince. A romance grows, and Cinda is introduced to his glamorous world. But this story is not so simple; Ludo’s twin, Gus finds himself falling for Cinda too, and Cinda ultimately finds herself conflicted.

Cinda, despite all this, is not a weak character, and rather than be subdued by the glitz and glam of the rich, she remains strong and down to earth, her hobby of painting bringing depth to her character. The love triangle is not only sweet but also full of drama, since Forster creates a whole cast of characters – some who will work against Cinda’s quest for love, and some who will help her.

The plot doesn’t only centre on romance; it also touches on other themes in Cinda’s life, including the weak relationship with her absent mother.

The setting is both elegant and exotic and an adventure in itself, as Forster captures all of this through a writing style that’s both poetic and humorous, with the lovely backdrop of Europe. The life of the two brothers and princes, Ludo and Gus, is an interesting world to explore; the public eye is always watching.

However, the romance feels a little rushed and if, like me, ‘love at first sight’ is not a convincing explanation for you, then some elements of the story will come off as a little contrived and cliche. The pacing feels too fast and some revelations and plot twists are just swept away too quickly to have any real lasting effect. Because of this, after reading I was left with a lack of emotional attachment to the characters; the luxe of a world that Cinda seemed to have stumbled upon by sheer luck felt too good to be true.

Nevertheless, Twice Upon A Time is worth a read if you absolutely love your romances.

Rating: 1.5 stars out of 3