This book tells the story of Amelia, a late-thirties lady in Dublin who enrols to an evening course in a bid to find herself a husband by the end of the year.
The course tutor gives the class homework each week which consists of tracking down her ex-boyfriends one at a time, to see if she can learn anything about where she is going wrong in her love-life, and therein begins a series of flashbacks to her dating youth and a brilliantly entertaining tale as she discovers what they are all doiing now.
The book is light-hearted and hysterically funny in places; I would highly recommend it as a beach read for your summer holidays - and I was really pleased to note that there wasn't the typical chick-lit ending to the book which I think would have been a bit of a sell-out.
I've already passed my copy on to a friend & have a feeling it will be doing the rounds in my office for many months to come!
Amelia Lockwood is thirty-seven, a successful TV producer and painfully single. At the start of the book, she sees an advert for a course promising that, if she joins, she'll be engaged within a year.
That's the start of a series of unfortunate encounters with ex-boyfriends as she tries to work out what went wrong in her previous relationships. She must track down her ten most serious boyfriends and figure out why things didn't work out with them. Armed with that information, she must try to do better if she's ever going to end up walking down the aisle.
The book is written in a light-hearted way and is a roughly even split between the present day in which the story is set and a series of flashbacks detailing the disasters that litter Amelia's past love life.
The book is written entirely in the present tense, even the flashbacks. I don't know why that irritated me, but it did. I imagine a lot of other readers would be perfectly fine with this writing style, but I wasn't. I coped with it though and quite happily read through the entire novel, I would have just preferred if it had been written in the past tense.
There is an entertaining cast of supporting characters. These appear more like caricatures than plausible characters. They're all amusing, with their own idiosyncrasies, but they're all slightly larger than life. This makes reading about them entertaining, but it's hard to believe in them. As the story goes on, the reader is given more information about all of them and gets to know them well.
The plot of the book moves steadily. I think the best thing about the book is its pacing. It doesn't feel rushed, but you're not left waiting for things to happen. Events move fairly quickly from chapter to chapter to keep you reading, but the book never leaves you feeling left behind. The story doesn't just focus on Amelia's search for a boyfriend, but also covers her life at work and touches on the lives and experiences of her friends.
The book is clearly intended for an audience of single women in their thirties. I'm only a third in that category, so that might explain why I didn't enjoy it that much. It wasn't the style of story I usually read and therefore it wasn't quite my cup of tea. However, that doesn't change the fact that there are plenty of people who would enjoy it. I read the whole thing even though it's not my usual style, which says a lot about its quality. If you do normally read books about women looking for relationships, I think you'll probably enjoy this a lot.
The book is a light read. You get a large book for your money, but it's no effort to read. It's very much a mood-lifter, encouraging the reader to feel content with their lot, even while striving to improve it. It's not laugh-out-loud funny, but I would describe it as amusing.
If you enjoy stories about relationships and trying to find love, then I think you will probably enjoy this one. If you're more into action plots than character development, turn away.
Ever since she was a little girl, all Amelia Lockwood has ever wanted is to get married - the Tiffany ring, the Vera Wang dress...the whole shebang. The car, the gorgeous flat and three fabulous friends only go so far in consoling her now that she's in her thirties and still not married. So when Amelia hears about a course that promises she'll be saying 'I do' before the year is out, she jumps at the chance to enrol. What Amelia doesn't realize is that a fundamental principle of the course is that you need to revisit all your past relationships to work out where you went wrong. In single-minded pursuit of her ultimate goal, Amelia gets in touch with every ex-boyfriend she's ever had - right back to age sixteen - with some surprising results!