by Jenny Colgan
Oh dear God, this was a bad book. I’m sure I’ve read and enjoyed Jenny Colgan books before but maybe I was less critical in my earlier reading. I didn’t realise it was one of her older books, but oh my, it has not aged well, All the gay jokes are just……ugh, cringe. None of the characters are likable, except Angus and you suspect maybe Linda, except that you see her through the lense of our superflawed ‘heroine’. Melanie has a leech of a boyfriend who disappeared for a year and was welcomed back with open arms. Even though you know this is just a standard ‘girl has lousy boyfriend, ditches him for somebody better’ plot, you just want her to grow a backbone. Sirens are blazing! Alarm bells are ringing! And yet she still crumples into submission.
Fraser, the ‘laird’ who is marrying Amanda, the bitch of a best friend, is not much stronger. Amanda has chased him for his castle and title (I always find it funny reading about anybody fawning over a ‘laird’, since that is my name).
The only thing I can say is that it did slightly keep me guessing until the end, but maybe I just like my chicklit a bit more predictable, where enough hints and nice scenes are dropped to make you root for Mr. Right so that when it finally happens you cheer. Perhaps I’m spoiling this book by saying I didn’t. I just groaned and kept turning the pages hoping there would be a last minute reprieve.
I never really understand books with a character who seemingly has got engaged by accident. I mean, I’m not saying that nobody has ever felt pressured to get engaged and then changed their minds, or been impulsive, but surely there must have been some genuine affection for such a nice lad like Fraser to ask Amanda to marry him. And if not and he just liked her body, well is that somebody to admire?
All we see is a bitch. There is no second dimension to her character, a little bit of pity (but more schadenfreude) when few people turn up to her hen party, but overall she’s just brought it on herself and poor Fraser missed it.
Ugh. I just wanted a nice simple book to tide me over during my first few days at home. So I bought this one in Eason’s with a Natasha Solomons book I hope is better.
Our things have not left Spain yet so most of my books are still sunning themselves on the Costa del Sol while I commute to town from Costal del Fingal (when you can’t even swim right now). I have no excuse for the purchase though I have a lot of books here still.
Anyway my ire was worked up and maybe it’s time for me to start exercising my brain again. As for this one, I’m going to dump it on the train tomorrow morning. Maybe somebody else can enjoy this drivel.
Postscript: I forgot to leave it on the morning train, so had it out and ready to leave on the train back. However at the back of my mind I was thinking ‘If I leave this here, somebody is going to point out to me that I left it.’ So I waited until the very last moment, when the train was already stopped, then hopped up, leaving the book on the seat. And yet still, as I was walking to the gate somebody tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I’d left my book. I kind of laughed nervously and said it was deliberate.
‘Oh ok, I might take it back to my partner then…for our holiday.’
‘Sure, it’s just, it’s not very good.’
On hearing the hesitation in his voice I nearly panicked, thinking he might hand it back to me:
‘Oh it’s fine really, for a holiday, like…’
‘Ok, thanks then!’