Esther Freud: I Couldn’t Love You More

This review is written with thanks to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read and review I Couldn’t Love You More.


Rosaleen is still a teenager, in the early Sixties, when she meets the famous sculptor Felix Lichtman. Felix is dangerous, bohemian, everything she dreamed of in the cold nights at her Catholic boarding school. And at first their life together is glitteringly romantic – drinking in Soho, journeying to Marseilles. But it’s not long before Rosaleen finds herself fearfully, unexpectedly alone. Desperate, she seeks help from the only source she knows, the local priest, and is directed across the sea to Ireland on a journey that will seal her fate.

Kate lives in Nineties London, stumbling through her unhappy marriage. But something has begun to stir in her. Close to breaking point, she sets off on a journey of her own, not knowing what she hopes to find.

Aoife sits at her husband’s bedside as he lies dying, and tells him the story of their marriage. But there is a crucial part of the story missing and time is running out. Aoife needs to know: what became of Rosaleen?

Spanning three generations of women, I Couldn’t Love You More is an unforgettable novel about love, motherhood, secrets and betrayal – and how only the truth can set us free.


I Couldn’t Love You More is the story of three women from different generations of the same family. The chapters are written from the perspectives of Aoife, Rosaleen and Kate and this helped me to understand what they were going through and be able to sympathise with them. It did take a while for the story to establish itself and in the beginning, I did wonder who was who and which time frame I was reading about and this meant it took some time for me to engage with the characters. 

Freud’s writing is absolutely beautiful. I loved how she conveyed the emotions in this story as she explored some highly emotional issues. There will be something in this novel that everyone can relate to, irrespective of their own background. 

Not all of the strands of the story are tied up neatly and since finishing, I have found myself thinking about where the characters would be after the end of the book. 

I Couldn’t Love You More is available from Amazon.

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