Our Stop: the perfect contemporary romance

This witty, heart-warming story is all about missed connections; about being so tantalisingly close to meeting the love of your life, but missing out by a whisker. It’s a love letter to friends and family, to strong women and kind men. It’s full of joy, excitement and butterflies – and it’ll take you back to your best (and worst) first dates.

‘The last first date’

Our Stop is a smart, laugh-out-loud contemporary romance that goes much further than boy-meets-girl. The search for love is second to the search for happiness and self-fulfilment – an aspect which I loved. 

Nadia gets the 7.30 train every morning without fail. Well, except if she oversleeps or wakes up at her friend Emma’s after too much wine.

Daniel really does get the 7.30 train every morning, which is easy because he hasn’t been able to sleep properly since his dad died.

One morning, Nadia catches sight of a post in the daily paper: ‘To the cute girl with the coffee stains on her dress. I’m the guy who’s always standing near the doors… Drink sometime?’

So begins a not-quite-romance of near-misses, true love, and the power of the written word.

The setting of Our Stop was brilliant. I used to commute into and across London, and people-watching on the tube was my main form of entertainment. If I’d seen messages like Nadia’s and Daniel’s in Metro’s Missed Connections section – you can bet I’d be following it!

The dialogue reads well and the characters are fun and likeable. Williams tells the stories through both Nadia and Daniel’s perspectives, giving an extra edge to the frustration of each missed opportunity. Daniel was a dream and Nadia’s the kind of woman I’d love to have an evening of wine with. The supporting characters – Nadia and Daniel’s friends – are equally as memorable, with their own mini subplots and dramas. If Our Stop isn’t made into a movie with Emilia Clarke in lead role, I’ll be amazed.

Tackling heavy topics

This is a modern romance for modern society. Our Stop includes so many of the conversations that my friends and I have – from trolls on Twitter to intersectional feminism. First and foremost is Nadia: a woman working high up in STEM (notably artificial intelligence). But it doesn’t stop there. She’s also finding ways to help people whose jobs are being replaced by machines, to stop the circle of low-paid jobs and unemployment.

Williams also makes keen observations on the ‘not all men’ backlash online and how to be better feminists. Despite the friendly jokes and quips, there’s a real authenticity to how she covers these topics.

Likewise, some of the book’s most powerful scenes revolve around grief, depression and consent. Daniel rails against the patriarchal stereotype of ‘alpha male’, and isn’t afraid to share his feelings, cry and accept he needs help. Consent is a major part of the book too, though Williams handles this with brilliant sensitivity.

An accurate portrayal of relationships

Unsurprisingly for a romance, it’s full of love. But Our Stop shows love in all its forms – from family to friendships. Nadia’s relationship with her friends is realistic and enviable, showing the pitfalls of silly jealousies and how quickly a friendship can disappear. Daniel’s relationship with his mum is heart-warming and instantly made me fall for him.

This isn’t about love at any cost. It’s about finding the right person – someone kind, considerate and with similar world views. ‘Settling’ isn’t an option: Williams makes it clear that being single beats this hands down. 

And Our Stop isn’t afraid to tackle relationship problems. The scars of emotional abuse are still healing in this novel, and Williams writes about it delicately and with poignancy. Likewise, there’s no disappearing off into the sunset. It’s clear that love isn’t the be-all and end-all; it’s not the silver bullet to life’s problems, and happily ever after doesn’t exist. But there’s hope and hard work and trust – and that’s even better.

Final thoughts

Our Stop was the lighthearted, lovable book I needed after Wanderers ripped my heart out and fried my brain. It’s perfect for getting you out of reading slumps and for making you appreciate the love you have in your life. It’ll make you savour ordinary moments during your commute and your working day, and remind to keep believing, keep hoping, and always look for the magic in the mundane.

It’s a quick book to breeze through, and the perfect accompaniment to a day by the pool or curled up inside, hiding from the rain and cold weather.

Thank you to Avon Books for my gifted copy.


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