We all know the feeling of a lost love, one who you thought was your soul mate and trying to get over the one who got away. Wondering what you should do, how you will cope, trying to keep yourself busy, and not thinking about ever getting involved with someone again. Then suddenly, there’s someone who you meet, often too soon, who seems to fill that void.
In Amy Taylor’s Search History, it’s Ana, who flees her hometown after a breakup and heads to another city for a new start: a new job, lifestyle and life in general. She meets a new man, Evan; the perfect man perhaps. Maybe because she’s in her early thirties, she is obsessed with social media, and she is constantly looking at online profiles, both of Evan and her previous partner. As she and Evan’s relationship develops, she pushes to know more about Evan’s prior partner and she uses social media to find out what happened and to try and get closer to him. The more he pushes back, the more she pushes to find out more.
Who hasn’t looked up someone they know, especially those they have lost contact with? But at what point does it verge on stalking? On self-obsession? And is it healthy for anyone concerned? Being a sixty something, I can’t say that I have used search history in this way, but I’m sure that it’s a more common practice than I would have thought.
While the book is based around searching people’s profiles online, much of it also looks back at Ana, and how her earlier years have shaped her disjointed life growing up between her split parents, the way she feels she’s been treated by them and how it has impacted her. It explores Ana and her struggle for her own identity, trying to come to terms with her life.
Can Ana learn to trust people, or will there forever be a nagging in the background which prompts her to go to lengths which may have consequences she doesn’t expect? How will she manage her fears and aspirations and just how far will she go to find out what she wants to know?
This isn’t a book I would have probably bought myself. I won it in a competition at the local bookshop. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it, sometimes empathising with the characters and sometimes laughing at the situations Ana gets involved in.
Search History is the debut novel for female Australian author, Amy Taylor, which I thoroughly enjoyed.