Thirty-nine year old CC’s life looks good on paper; a successful career in advertising, plenty of friends and a flat that she’s almost paid off. But something’s missing- a boyfriend- although a baby and a farm would be nice too, but first things first. CC approaches this with the same determination which which she handles her job, and attempts speed dating, but once is enough. Ditto for spontaneous weekends in France with VERY strange men. In the meantime her gay friends are living the dream, with coke-fueled parties, carefree hook-ups and occasionally finding love. Even her sexagenarian mother is sexing up a Moroccan twenty year old. Can CC get past the issues preventing her from opening up to new possibilities?
This is our second book from this author, having previously reviewed The Half-life Of Hannah, this one feels slightly younger and had more going on.
Kooks for your Kindle?– Apart from one girl, CC mainly surrounds herself with gay men friends, possibly in a subconscious bid to replace her late brother. Their dramas add to her own; there’s fun but depressed Darren, neighbour Mark is a little too desperate for a relationship, and lovely Victor, who doubles as her gynaecologist. Norman, the result of speed dating, seems hopeful initially but can CC see past his brown eyes? CC’s lonely mother is hard work, and has mysteriously taken up with her obscenely young holiday tour guide all of a sudden.
The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– CC is vaguely aware that she’s been damaged by losing her father and brother, and thinks she’s dealing with it by acquiring masses of self help books. Fortunately a bit of professional help works wonders. Her naturally diplomatic personality is not just useful with clients at work- it helps her handle her prickly mother. She’s mostly past her phase of abusive exes, but one continues to haunt her- why hasn’t she been able to cry for over twenty years? It sounds a bit doom and gloom, but CC’s proactive nature was positive, even if she didn’t quite know where to look for happiness. Sounds like she has a fabulous wardrobe though.
Painting a picture for your paperback?– This is all about relationships, how CC doesn’t realise she’s holding people at arm’s length, how her men friends choose disastrous ones, real life arguments with rude waiters and fellow customers, how her mother’s relationship is only borderline legal… CC believes that if she finds a good relationship, then the rest of her dreams will follow.
Evaluation of your eBook?– The irony of CC’s self help books hurting her didn’t fail to amuse, and it seems the author likes to throw a little surprise in for those among us who’ve led sheltered lives- in this instance, an unexpected fetish. I felt it could have been slightly shorter- I had time to devour it in one day, but those dipping into it might find it a little slow. While there are serious themes at work here (depression/drugs/ illness/fertility/bereavement), it is a surprisingly fun read with a sharp, witty narrative. Again, you wouldn’t know such a realistic everyday heroine was actually written by a man, she’s so convincing. The ending is satisfying, without being wrapped up too tidily, and now there is a sequel too- but don’t read the blurb on that or you’ll spoil the ending of this book! It’s currently a bargain on both sides of the Atlantic too.
Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.
Can be obtained from:
UK: Amazon, currently only 65p.
US: Not currently on Amazon, but kobobooks have it for $1.44.