Ancient Love Stories (Emily Hauser) / I Loved You in Another Life (David Arnold) – Bonnier Books Review

We take a look at two of the newest releases from Bonnier Books and their impressions Hot Key Books and Big Picture Press.

Ancient Love Stories (Emily Hauser)

While Valentine’s Day might be a while away, there’s never a wrong time to talk about love, which is why Emily Hauser’s newest work, a collection of historical, real-life love stories, Ancient Love Stories, is a perfectly sweet treat.

Hauser and illustrator Sander Berg have created a visually impressive collection, even if, at 96 pages, it only contains a handful of stories. Said stories do, it has to be noted, run the spectrum of love, delving into heterosexual love, homosexual love, platonic intimacy, truly giving an impressive range, whether that’s Sappho or the Sacred Band of Thebes, or Antony and Cleopatra themselves.

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Perfect for an afternoon’s examination, Ancient Love Stories is a lightweight, sweet examination of the history of love in the classical world, and what it lacks in depth, it more than makes up for scope and breadth, ensuring a universal treatise to the power of the human heart.

Ancient Love Stories is out on 28th September from Big Picture Press/Bonnier Books

I Loved You in Another Life (David Arnold)

Within the world of young-adult fiction, the idea of reincarnation has always been a  popular conceit – whether that’s the fantasy Arthuriana of Meg Cabot’s Avalon High or the sci-fi epic sweep of Lauren James’ The Next Together series. Falling squarely into the second camp is I Loved You in Another Life, the latest effort from prolific YA author David Arnold.

I Loved You in Another Life follows two souls – traumatised teen Evan and aspiring performer Shosh – as they find themselves linked by a mysterious song and drawn to one another as part of a mysterious time-spanning cycle. Arnold is clearly a master of his craft, and while the characterisation of the two leads isn’t the strongest nor most original one could hope for, the scale and scope of Arnold’s imagination can’t be faulted.

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Evoking recent explorations into wrenching, emotive YA fiction (here’s looking at you, Dustin Thao’s You’ve Reached Sam), I Loved You in Another Life blends together a simple yet effective premise with poignant emotion. In the hands of the right reader, it’ll be a story that will be revisited aplenty, as if for the first time all over again.

I Loved You in Another Life is out on 10th October from Hot Key Books/Bonnier Books.

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