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Michele Gorman's Bella Summer Takes A Chance is a novel about the title character, her friends, her relationships, and her life in general. The novel opens with Bella breaking up with her boyfriend of ten years, and continues as she makes other changes in her life, ultimately trying to find happiness.
Bella is a bit older than the average chick-lit heroine, in her late thirties, but this is very much a chick-lit novel. It deals with the end of one relationship and Bella's search for love, having ended her relationship when she realise that it wasn't proper love. The other characters are also fairly typical: the frank and outspoken friend, the apparently gay flatmate, the loud friend with impossibly high standards in men.
The plot is largely predictable, following a path through a period of Bella's life where things aren't going so well. Interestingly though, you never feel completely confident that there will a nicely tied up happy ending, which is almost always predictable in chick-lit. The story is enjoyable and holds your attention; Bella finally tries to make a career of singing, which is what she loves, and of course meets new men.
Various characters are never named, but are referred to by descriptions or job titles, the Musician and the Dad being examples. This works well in the context, although it did remind me of Sex And The City, so didn't come across as very original. There is one episode in the story featuring one of these characters, which I won't reveal so as not to spoil the surprise, but let's just say Bella gets a little adventurous in her sex life. Anyway, there is a bit of a build up to this and then the actual episode itself seems rather flat, not worth the build up.
In general though, Bella Summer Takes A Chance is a very enjoyable read. The title doesn't quite fit, as there is never one big "chance" that Bella takes, more lots of little steps to changing her life. But the title doesn't really matter, it's what inside that counts. And what's inside is an enjoyable story which holds your attention, with a lead character who doesn't completely fit the chick-lit mould. Bella Summer Takes A Chance is worth taking a chance on, and I wouldn't say no to trying other novels by Michele Gorman.
Paperback: 296 pages / Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform / Published: 30 Jan 2013 / Language: English