This is the story of 4 parallel lives (families) in a small town.
Tilly has quit her London job and takes a Girl Friday job in a remote town where she knows only one person. She navigates work, love, friends, and social life in her new small town community.
Tilly's boss, Max, has a family of 3, including a lively 13 year daughter. The dynamics of his whole family's work, school, and romantic relationships intertwine with Tilly's life in an intriguing, frustrating, and often heart-warming way.
Tilly's best friend Erin's life takes a turn that includes love and the most unlikely and challenging friendship anyone could imagine.
Tilly's befriends Jack, her boss's colleague, who on the surface is a charmer with a bad reputation, but Jack has a story of his own.
I love Jill Mansell's style. It is peppered with humor and sarcasm. Hearing the characters' internal dialog as each twist in plot happens is hilarious! Mansell reminds me a lot of Sophie Kinsella, my fav author. This book moves quickly with lots of dialog, and that's what made it so much fun to listen to for me. Good one!
First, I'd like to point out that this book has a sequel "Running Away from Richard" which I wish I would've known so I could listen to them in order. I liked the sequel a lot.
The publisher's summary over simplifies the plot of this book. The first fourth of the book tells the story of 4 college friends at Oxford, college life, and the romance that develops between Lizzie and Brian. It's background for the rest of the book, but I found this part of it very entertaining and enjoyable.
Then we move forward 5 years and meet 27 year old Lizzie, who is not thrilled with how her life is turning out. This includes some funny scenes with her messy flat, neurotic roommates, broke boyfriend, and lackluster job (secretly hoping, for example, that her boss doesn't make any sales so she doesn't have to do the resulting work.)
She paints a much more successful picture of her life to long distance friend Brian, and scrambles to figure out what to do when he visits. She has gotten herself into a sticky situation.
The extent of her lies to Brian were a little overdone for me, and at times I found myself thinking she deserved to be found out rather than rooting for her to pull it off. If you can get past that (fairly major) detail and just enjoy the unraveling of her plan, it's fun to see what happens.
This is a nice light fun romance with a touch of mystery to it. It's a short book, but I don't regret using up a credit on it. I found it entertaining from start to finish. It does end a bit abruptly.
I love funny chit lit, just about all I listen to, and this book is at the top of my list! It is absolutely witty and laugh out loud funny in some spots. Best use of humor I've seen in any book in this category. The characters are so relatable and lovable, and while romance is the focus of the plot, it's fun to get lost in all aspects of the main character's life - work, social, family, neighbors, diet, health.
It's nice and long, in a I'm-so-glad-I'm-not-getting-close-to-the-end kinda way!
Can't wait to pick out my next Sarra Manning and Julie Maisey books!
When I read the description of this book, I thought it sounded like a selfish parent's guide to parenting. But a good friend loved it, so I gave it a chance.
Wow, was it eye opening! Instead of seeing the French parenting style as selfish, I see the benefits of adding more structure to the daily routine and meals, can laugh at an outside perspective on the hyper competitiveness we Americans have in sports and academics, and most of all - in one week I have let go of a great deal of guilt I carry for doing anything for myself. I see the great value in letting the kids just explore for long periods of time, and the value of letting them get bored and learn to be patient.
This book is light and entertaining, reads like a novel. The narrator is fantastic!
I'm now listening to it a second time. Can't wait to try out a lot of these techniques!
Oh, and I'm now laughing at all the commercials on kids TV and ads for kids activities that boast to help your child "get ahead", "get a head start", etc. Sheesh - what is the big hurry anyway??
This book grabbed me right from the beginning, I couldn't "put it down". I really felt invested in the plights of all of the characters. 4 main characters: Isabelle, college freshman, Diana, recently divorced, with new job, new neighborhood, new school for her daughter, Richard, recently widowed American, relocated to UK for a fresh start, Ollie, recent college grad, struggling to find his first "real" job in a depressed job market. There is an element of starting over for all the characters, but none turn out exactly as they expect. There are several other minor characters I fell in love with as well.
The only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is that the antagonist characters are a little over the top, unrealistically pure bad. If you get to the middle and find yourself irritated with how bad the "bad guys" are, stick with it, as the actual plot stays good till the end!
This is about the 5th Annie Sanders book I've read. The plot - as with all her books - is great - got me interested right from the beginning and kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. I love her style of alternating points of view each chapter! There are parallel stories of Sarah, David, and Claire, all interwoven together. Sarah and David are 40 ish and Claire is 19 ish. If you've ever daydreamed about giving up the responsible day to day existence of work, dinner, chores, predictable social life, to pursue your dreams and passions, this book will walk you down one outcome of that path. Loved it! PS - I almost didn't read this because another reviewer described it as depressing, but I didn't find any of it depressing - the challenges and relationship struggles are the drama that make it so intense.
The writing is very funny, but the plot didn't hold my attention. I've tried listening to this over and over for months, and I end up daydreaming, then eventually turn it off. I finally just gave up and am looking for a new book.
Wow - this book was not at all what I expected. It is a story of an unfathomable catastrophe that happens to a family of 3 - Mel, Adam, and 4-year old daughter Maya. The family is put to the test and defines a whole new level of level and commitment.
Based on my last read of Linda Green ("Things I Wish I'd Known", awesome book!), I expected a story of intrigue with a bit of humor - well, there is some humor in this book, but it is dark humor. The primary story line is very sad. For me, having a husband and 4 year old daughter myself - it was just too depressing to put my head in this family's life.
Having said that - if you enjoy the inspiration of undying love and commitment, of rebuilding your life after tragedy, this book will not disappoint. I could not wait to see what happened next.
This is one of my favorite audio books!
The timeline jumps back and forth between the 15 year old Claire in 1985 and 38 year old Claire in present day.
15 year old Claire has the rare privilege of meeting a local celebrity on whom she has a teen crush. That meeting sparks a turn of events that impacts the rest of her life as well as those around her. As the layers of the story unravel, you see how the events in her teenage life shape her as an adult. Now she has a chance to meet him again. Two adults on a more equal playing field. Fascinating dynamic.
It is a story of friendship, love, family, career, adolescent dreams, and the reality of adulthood.
Great plot - not predictable at all. The suspense is built skillfully... I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Great humorous moments. This is not a standard chick lit romance - much more substance.
I enjoyed this book, but glad it wasn’t the first Jill Mansell book I've listened to...I like the others a lot more. In this one, there's a bit of a theme betrayal, and some of the male characters are real jerks. These themes are not common to Mansell's writing…I'm glad!
Having said that, hearing the internal conversations in the minds of the mother and daughter are hilarious - wanting some things so badly, but trying to play it cool on the outside - funny in a slightly neurotic, awkward, Bridget Jones-y way.
One thing the publisher's description doesn't really make clear is that about half the book is about Jem's adventures in college, the other half is about Ginny's life as an empty-nester. The two story lines intersect and then veer off again in a fun way.
The Jem scenes remind me of my college days, and the Ginny scenes make me picture what life will be like when my kids are all grown. Both fun places to visit via fiction!
The plot is not predictable at all, lots of twists and turns -good!
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