This cheeky little book is an homage to the women’s fiction out there with naughty bits, and a good read all in one! Divorcée Estelle owns a struggling cafe in Bristol and despairs of her future until she has the idea of starting a book club- which changes her life. It starts out small, reading the very respectable Tess of the D’Urbervilles until things take a turn for the rude as they tackle ‘Ten Sweet Lessons’ (a thinly veiled 50 Shades). The five club members soon abandon the usual book club staples and head for other saucy numbers like Jilly Cooper and Shirley Conran. As their paths entangle, the club members find their lives changing in unexpected ways.
Kooks for your Kindle?– There’s a nice age range to the main characters, from twenties to sixties. My favourite had to be the young feminine feminist Gracie, librarian by day, aspiring singer by night, whose style seemed to be a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Dita Von Teese. Quietly opinionated, her views on ‘Ten Sweet Lessons’ rang a bell with me. Reggie is a gawky misfit graduate student who initially joins the group for social research before overcoming his embarrassment at the subject matter and getting involved. Rebecca has not been married long, but is already pining for her waning sex life until the books give her some ideas. Sue and her husband George have just retired, but it turns out they have very different ideas of what that means. Sue thinks it’s the beginning and wants day trips and foreign holidays whereas George thinks it’s the end and wants to sit in front of the television all day. Sue’s new-found friends inspire her to get out there and keep living.
The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Estelle is the main character who brings them all together and starts them on their new reading matter. She’s had some confidence knocks, so is hesitant when her son’s football coach Tony shows an interest in her, and has some hilarious moments when he finds out about their reading matter.
Nookie for your Nook?– While the subject matter is naughty, the book itself is merely steamy in parts and would pass the mother-in-law test if she’s fairly modern.
Evaluation of your eBook?– Ironically the book has a cosy, warm, wholesome feel with the community created by the assorted club members meeting over tea and homemade cakes in the midst of their messy lives. It also really captures the essence of the ’50 shades’ craze with the unlikeliest people sneakily reading it on the bus/train, and also the nostalgia of a good eighties bonk-buster like Riders. There’s some nice character development and, of course, a happy ending.
Frothy Ranking: 4.5/5 cocktails.
Can be obtained from:
UK: Amazon for £1.99