Two people, lost in the dizzying maze of life, haunted by the vicissitudes of fate and gripped by their myriad fears, come together and find strength and solace in each other’s presence in Anton Wills-Eve’s new novel. “James and Jacqueline” is a tale that follows the eponymous couple’s romantic hijinks – and the myriad personal, mental, familial and criminal crises they face – which begin within the walls and halls of an English university, and eventually reach all the way to Paris, the city of love and light.
The lovers start off broken by their respective phobias, which dominate their lives, and are initially defined by how they face their circumstances. James believes that God is his greatest aid, while Jacqueline cannot accept the idea of any creator who could make her so cruelly ill. He suffers from agoraphobia, she from claustrophobia, reflecting their similarities and their polar differences. Their meeting is fateful, and eventually they fall for each other and face the challenges before them, which range from dogmatic doctors, the difficulties of living and working in the university, the loss of loved ones and parents, and family involvement in a major crime syndicate. As they go on this arduous journey, they are changed by each other and by the hardships they encounter, the courage they muster as they fight against their inner demons, and the help they get from dear friends. Lives are threatened, anxieties and neuroses inevitably manifest, passions and emotions run wild, and appalling revelations emerge as the couple makes their way towards the end of the story and their journey.
At once touching, exciting and comedic, the story of “James and Jacqueline” shows readers how to live with a serious anxiety neurosis while being faced with moral, romantic, family, criminal and social crises. Wills-Eve’s unpredictable tale, and the flawed characters populating it, contains something of everybody’s concept of true love and life.