Irish author John Rogers’ second novel Blue Doors is a pleasantly cozy romance about the business and domestic lives of an English couple. They meet in Liverpool court separate re-unite marry move to Belfast and eventually face the worst dilemma of their lives from which they are saved by the blue doors of their kitchen. North American readers may experience occasional problems with Rogers’ British vocabulary and phraseology but these are not sufficient to interrupt the flow of the story or the intent of the dialogue some of which is rapid-fire funny. Readers may also find the final resolution to the story with the doors to be a bit of a stretch but the rest of the novel provides an engaging insight into the emotions and psyches of the protagonists. Blue Doors gradually becomes a riveting read with all of the tension and drama usually found in action adventures with the bonus of several comedic turns.
Told in three major time-blocks and from the points of view of various characters the novel depicts the ambitious lives of John Smyth “with a Y’ and Doreen a pleasant but tardy indecisive and not very proficient typist.
When they meet he is twenty-two she seventeen. Both are ambitious and anxious to move onwards and upwards. John known as Everton because that is the name of his favourite football team is learning the ins and outs of the poster industry and the ways and means of getting ahead with his bosses by undermining an officious superior demanding to be called “Sir.” When “Sir” gets unseated and Everton becomes a branch manager he hires Doreen as his secretary as terrible as her typing is but with “a love at first sight” attraction for her.
While single-minded Everton focuses on improving poster sales and sites fun-loving Doreen focuses on preserving her virginity from an American GI boyfriend getting to work on time improving her skills and capturing Everton’s heart. Bitten by his own success Everton is offered a posting in Belfast as an area manager a move he doesn’t want to make at least not until—with the prompting of others—Doreen tells him she is going to the US with her army boyfriend a move she has no intention of making.
So they separate. Doreen experiences a couple of near rapes; Everton plunges into round the clock business activities. Then an enterprising Mum manipulates their lives so the two re-meet and their love blossoms into a marriage and two children. More dilemmas threaten the peace but presumably beyond the blue doors Everton Doreen and their two children lived as happily ever after as billboard industry executive and now author John Rogers his wife their four children and eight grandchildren.
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