The best character in this book is Tilly's boss and his daughter. Tilly is OK. The book portrays the women in the village as man-hungry and the man in question seems to like the attention. There is no tension between the main characters, just a lukewarm attraction.
I was bored and had hoped for fireworks, passion, anger, fights, misunderstandings, that sort of thing that is typical of chick lit. Not to be found here.
Stella is not a likeable character and Jay is even worse. She categorizes her job as sort of the provenance of the rich, yet she has not problem accepting a home from her (wealthy) father or gifts and travel from Jay. Jay is bossy, patriarchal and a rich bum. Stella's father is a principal character and treats the women in his life as accessories, leaving them when he gets bored (except for the current wife).
I was frustrated with Stella's inability to say no to the idiotic childish Jay, and I wished for a different ending. The ending was not expected because I think any sensible woman in this day and age would not allow her father to take the upper hand and direct her life. I also thought she was going to end up with a different person.
I have listened to all of Sophie Kinsella's books on audio and have read the first three Shopaholic books and "Can You Keep a Secret?" I have purchased the first three Shopaholic books on audio because I like the narrator. I also own "Can You Keep a Secret?" on audio. I did not care for the audio for "Remember Me" or subsequent Shopaholic stories.
At first, this narrator's voice seemed too girlish and high-pitched for me, but as another reviewer noted, she seemed to grow into the storytelling. She did a good job on the men's voices, which is usually hard to do for a woman! I like how her timbre changed to reflect Poppy's moods.
The story overall is pretty predictable. I wasn't fooled by Magnus throughout the book and after the Scrabble incident, I rather felt like he was marrying Poppy just so he could feel intellectually superior to her. I won't tell you how it ends, even though it's predictable. :-)
At the beginning, I sort of cringed as the story continued on and on regarding the loss of the ring. I can't pretend to understand the loss of something so valuable, as that has never happened to me before, but Poppy's hysteria is understandable.
The creative twist in this story is how she meets Sam Roxton, the businessman. We get a sense of Poppy's sense of fun and quick thinking when he first lays eyes on her. It's pretty funny and made me laugh out loud, the first of many times throughout this book.
In this age of texting and mobile phones, it would be easy to fall into the trap of creating a storyline consisting of the tiresome abbreviations used in texting, but with audio, we don't feel that. When Poppy writes "thx," for "thanks," we hear it, but don't read it. This book doesn't feel like you are reading those annoying "RU there?" conversations.
Poppy's and Sam's relationship grows through the book and you can pretty much guess what happens, but what I was surprised by how intimate texting can be! When they are in the wood and trying to find each other in the dark, you get a sense of intimacy so strong that you feel as though YOU are the one reading their texts or listening in on a private conversation.
As it became obvious that something could possibly happen between Poppy and Sam, I looked forward to their first physical encounter. Toward the end of the story, I felt myself yearning for it and the feeling became stronger. As love stories go, well, the end was a surprise to me.
I'm glad I bought it and will happily listen to it again when I need some cheering up!
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