Three women rent a holiday house in Cornwall for the summer. Each brings with her children, baggage (in every sense), and expectations, in this sparkling follow-up to Goodbye, Jimmy Choo. There's control freak Imogen; fluffy and easygoing Sophie; and Jo, a friend of Sophie's who was roped in at the last minute when the first choice of housemate pulled out. A sardonic East London GP, all she really wants to do is put her feet up. Can these three polar opposites ever get along?
There's friction over domestic trivia from the outset, and it can only get worse as the weather closes in. Then Imogen and Sophie's husbands arrive for the weekend. Oh dear - a shared holiday seemed such a good idea back in January....
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"Tale of the Development of Female Friendships"
Although Sanders has taken a slight detour here from her usual plots, this was an interesting tale of three women who develop a friendship. Imogene, Sophie and Jo rent a house for about three weeks to take a summer holiday. All three have kids and bring them along. Imogene and Sophie are married and their husbands join them on weekends. Jo is the odd woman out, although develops a love interest with the kids' surfing instructor.
Annie presents the continuums of the women's characteristics well, and in a fashion Imogene and Jo grow as people throughout the course of the novel. Sophie remains nearly the same. Sophie is the one who knows each of them and has pulled them together for the holiday even though Imogene and Jo hadn't known each other previously.
The chief flaw in this novel is Jo, who has no redeeming qualities. As a reader, I feel I was supposed to like her. But I couldn't. Sanders took me time and time again to the brink of liking Jo, but failed to take me over the top. For example, Jo is irresponsible in telling her summer housemates where she is going and when she'll be back, all the while leaving the other two to tend to her son. Most people would not do that. She comes off as mean spirited and aloof; rude and lacking in any type of social grace. At one point Sanders writes a scene in which Jo doesn't know how to do the Heimlich maneuver, and Jo is a doctor! It seemed odd.
Sanders develops the tension among the women and within the house very well. But the climax is forced and far too near to the end to make a difference to me as a reader where Jo is concerned. By then Jo is someone I want to get away from and stay away from. On the other hand, in spite of her high levels of organization and insistence on being a Walt Disney type of mom, Imogene is someone I liked and would like in real life. Yes, from time to time she may make me feel inferior as a mother because I wouldn't "do all that," but I can easily accept Sophie's conclusion that people have different talents and interests and it doesn't mean that you are less than. It just means you are different.
Sanders is excellent at representing the kids and kid dialogue. She is also good at showing us what it's like to have a holiday with other families and how it can become grating on the nerves.
If you enjoy Sanders and expect her usual chick lit formula, you will be disappointed in the book. If you can accept that she has written something different here, you will enjoy it. The usual plot line (for her) does not impact her writing skills. As far as the narration, I thought it was adequate, although at times Hicks lost track of the characters and had to right her boat. But those moments were not significant enough to detract me from the story.
"didnt grab my interest"
I normally like Annie Sanders, but this one just didn't get my attention. took to long to develope
"One of the rare books I couldn't finish"
There were no surprises and no cleverness in the writing.
I found her voice irritating
Sorry, but all of them! i have tried to listen to this book, finally resorting to using it to put me to sleep at night...subconciously I've probably listened to most of it, but in reality I've only made it through a few chapters and I just don't want to go on hearing it.
i just don't find any of these characters interesting. Nor am I curious about what is going to happen to them.
"Dissappointed with the first 4 hours"
Admittedly I only listened to the first 4 or so hours but I just couldnt get into this audio book.
I loved Annie Sanders "Jimmy Choo" book but this one, I found extremely boring. I was waiting for something to happen in order to give me that "whats going to happen next" feeling but it just dragged on about these 3 women, their holiday house and all their kids.
I thought there were too many characters brought into the story way to soon without any background or substance to them which in turn, didnt keep my interest in their lives. I wasnt interested in hearing about a trip to the shops and grocery lists.
With regards to the narration, I found Kim Hicks a bit harsh and a bit too controlled.
But, as I mentioned, I did only get through the first 4 hours - maybe if I kept going it would have got better.
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