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I am a big fan of reading chick lit and at one point had several unread books on my shelves, but this past year I haven't had many new books to read and haven't got around to actually getting any either. My friend is part of a 'book chain' at her work who all pass their read books on to each other and she kindly included me so this review focuses on the book I finished a few days ago by Jill Mansell entitled 'Perfect Timing'.
The plot is as follows:
Poppy Dunbar is on her hen night, the night before her wedding to the practical and reliable Rob, when handsome stranger Tom Kennedy comes to her aide after she falls down some stairs in a nightclub. Sparks fly between the two and Poppy is left questioning her intended marriage after this meeting so after a few hours of deliberation decides to call off her wedding and start a new life in London.
Whilst taking a job waitressing for a private catering company, Poppy overhears there is a room to let at a lavish party where she is working and cheekily asks if she can move in (as you do). From here on we start to meet several of the key characters who all have their intertwining stories that create Perfect Timing..
The Main Characters:
*Poppy is the main character here who's life interweaves in and out of the other plot lines and to say she jilts her husband to be at the last moment she is actually very likable!
*Casper is the owner of the house where Poppy 'blags' herself a room, and basically he is a good looking lothario who is also a successful painter.
*Claudia is the last of the trio that lives in the house with Casper and Poppy. Very stuck up, materialistic and money orientated with a rich film star daddy but proves she is not entirely heartless as the book goes on.
*Tom is the perfect handsome stranger..but is he all he seems?
*Alex and Rita are a couple Poppy tracks down once she is in London after a major discovery on the morning of her wedding..but again are they all they seem?
*Jake is Poppy's long suffering boss and comes across at first as weak willed and a bit of a geek, but in a nice way.
*Dina is Poppy's friend from back home who just wants to party and have a good time with Poppy but her husband is left holding the baby at home. Will Dina settle down to domestic life or will she 'do a Poppy' and leave everything behind thinking the grass is greener?
My thoughts on the book:
Although I am a fan of most chick lit books as mentioned in my opening paragraph, this is the first Jill Mansell book that I have read and I must say overall I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found the character of Poppy easy to like despite the fact she jilted 'sensible' Rob at the last minute but there was something quite endearing about her that made it hard not to actually like her.
I didn't quite know what to make of Casper at first but grew to like him as the book progressed as with some of the others involved in the story. When we meet each of the characters we also get an explanation as to why they are like they are and we get a brief synopsis back story which unlike some books doesn't detract from the ongoing story, but adds the missing jigsaw pieces I suppose you could say.
The story flows along nicely as I was left wondering on each page would Poppy hunt down the mysterious Tom? Were they meant to be together? Would Poppy tell Rita and Alex who she really was before it was too late? I won't say any more on the plot as I don't want to spoil it but I found it a very uncomplicated book that didn't take much thinking about, making it perfect bed time reading to relax on a night with.
I can't say really there were any of the characters I didn't take to which is why I found the book to be so enjoyable. The story, though flitting from character to character and their back stories all seemed to flow with ease and the book was not only a very enjoyable piece of chick lit but each page kept me 'wanting more' which I always deem to be an engrossing book when I don't want to put it down. There really is nothing to dislike about this book at all, even down to the front cover of the book which is enchanting in soft tones and whispy watercolours.
Having enjoyed this I am going to read more of Mansell's work as it's light hearted and doesn't take itself too seriously plus this particular book was actually quite comical so makes me want to read more from the same author.
At 406 pages long it's not too in depth and just the right length for this kind of story in my opinion.
ISBN 978 0 7553 3016 4
First published in 1997
As this states it was part of a multi pack of books on the back there is no price though I imagine it will retail around the £6/ £7 but that is a pure estimate.
A very good light hearted piece of chick lit that flows well with likable characters and would make a perfect holiday read. It doesn't drag on too much, is very easy to get into and keeps you wondering how things will pan out with an unexpected 'twist' at the end. As this was first published in 1997 certain things mentioned do seem a bit dated such as clothes etc, but it doesn't spoil the story at all and it could have been set in any time period and would have still been just as entertaining and amusing no matter what the year was.
Highly recommened by me.
This was the first Jill Mansell book i ever read and have to say it had me hooked from the word go!
It was an enjoyable book I finished it in 2 days! Poppy thinks she meets The One on her hen night, just before she is about to be married the next day. He is dark, cute and sexy and he likes her, tells her he's a doctor. They get up to a bit but not kissing or anything like that. Poppy obviously doesn't love her hubby that much otherwise she wouldn't have "fallen in love" with Tom (the cute guy). She is torn in 2, they plan to meet somewhere aftewards but she doesn't but she still cancels her wedding. She then moves to London straight after that and there we are introduced to a whole lot of colourful, believable (some of them) characters. Mansell keeps you guessing till the end as to who is Poppy's true love. I like the way Mansell always makes every character find love and their lives always have a happy ending.
Having now read other Jil mansell books i can honestly say in most books you can get the predictable ending! But she always does the endings well!
When Poppy Dunbar discovers that the man she thought was her father is not, she ups sticks and moves to London. There she has two missions, to find Tom, the man she met across a crowded room, and her father. But things don't turn out the way she expected.