Felicity seems to have everything she could possibly want: a perfect husband, a beautiful home, thoughtful in-laws and a satisfying career as a children’s book illustrator. However, shadows are looming over Felicity’s happiness in the shape of long suppressed memories which are being triggered by certain floral scents. It isn’t long before Felicity realises she is the only one who can smell these particular fragrances and the emotions sweeping through are linked to an old romance.
As the spells increase, Felicity begins to feel stifled by the life she has created with her husband, Quinn, especially when he begins dropping hints about having a baby. Felicity has never been part of family since she was raised by a single artist mother who lived a very peripatetic lifestyle, and in some ways she misses the freedom she once had. As her feelings intensify, Felicity decides to track down her old boyfriend, Ewan, in the hopes of finding some closure but she finds the intervening years haven’t been kind to him and he is sorely in need of a friend. Torn between Ewan and Quinn, Felicity is increasingly confused by her strong emotions but then there are other worrying hints that all may not be well with Felicity herself.
Where Love Lies is an intriguing examination of how the mind can fool you into feeling a certain way and I don’t think it is much of a spoiler to reveal Felicity has a serious medical condition which is causing her problems because it is very obvious. The first indication all is not well is when Felicity begins to experience strong smells of the flower frangipani when none are there. The smells begin to elicit strong emotions within Felicity, feelings she eventually identifies as love, and she realises she once felt that way for an man called Ewan. Confused as to why she is having such strong feelings for a man who is not her husband, Felicity begins to have doubts about her marriage.
Unfortunately, Felicity is a hard character to like even knowing there is something seriously wrong with her, mainly because she always seems so dissatisfied with everything. When Quinn arranges a surprise trip to New York to celebrate their first wedding anniversary, Felicity is dismayed when she learns he has planned a full schedule of sightseeing when she would’ve preferred to be more spontaneous. Of course, poor Quinn doesn’t realise this because she never tells him what she is really feeling and he can’t seem to do anything right. In the same way, Quinn’s family are very attentive to her but Felicity feels they are too intrusive and she wants more space. Then Felicity’s insecurities rear their ugly heads and she starts to feel she doesn’t deserve Quinn at all. It’s all a bit of an emotional rollercoaster and while much of it may be out of Felicity’s control, some fears are buried too deep to be anything but real and it causes a lot of heartache.
As Felicity’s condition worsens, she finally gets her diagnosis but it may be too late to save her marriage. I’m afraid by this point I had lost all patience with Felicity and my sympathies lay more with Quinn and Ewan. The afterword explains what the author was trying to achieve here and I appreciate the experiment, but it just wasn’t my kind of a story in the end.