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I bought this book purely for the fact that it looked like a good holiday read. I bought it from Bargain Books for £2. I've never read anything by Tina Reilly (who now is re-publishing her books under Martina Reilly). The cartoony front cover looks bit naff and doesn't really do the book any favours but like people say "Never judge a book by its cover".
...The Story ...
The book is about a woman called Vicky McCarthy who finds out when she was younger that she's adopted by her cousin telling her that "she was ready made". Now, she's older, she still hasn't really learnt to deal with it and she feels that she can't fit in anywhere until she knows where she came from. She decides that she wants to search for her birth mother. Her adopted parents who have brought her up since she was about 4 months old are divided. Her mother just wants her to be happy but her father thinks it's stupid idea. Vicky should know where she belongs. She belongs in the McCarthy family and doesn't need to meet her birthmother to know that.
Besides, searching for her birthmother, she has to deal with an new employee at the toyshop where she's the manager. Not only is he a brilliant salesman but he's her bosses' son but not everything is what it seems. She believes he's there to be groomed her job but Ed O'Neill is not daddy's favourite person and has another reason why he's working in his dad's toyshop.
Will Vicky find her birthmother or will she find her adopted family the family that she needs? Will she find out the real reason why Ed is working in the shop?
I loved this book. Yes, it may be classed as chick lit and yes, it is but there's a lot more to it than just a normal chick lit novel. There's a bit of romance, a woman trying to find herself in the world, wannabee celebs but there are tender moments that just leap off the page and worms its way into your heart. There's a lot of emotion going on in the story and it really pulled at my heartstrings. There were moments especially towards the end of the book where I wanted to cry. There aren't many books that do that.
The characterisation of Vicky is very real. She felt like a real person to me while I read the book. A part of me thought that that Vicky was quite selfish, she had loving parents what more can you ask for but another part thought that she was brave and courageous to find her birthmother and maybe risk reject by her.
There are a few sidestories running along side the main one of finding her birthmother and I won't spoil it for you but just let say that the sides stories are just as interesting as the main story.
The book consumes you and you have to read it all in one go. I must admit that the first few chapters/pages were a little slow for my liking but I do appreciate that you have build a story like this by giving a little history and introduce the characters.
Also, Bridie, who's Vicky's co-worker at the shop is just a wonderful character but you only really get to know about her as the book is nearly at an end. Also Vicky's flatmate, Sal, I absolutely grew to hate her and her annoying friend, Mel.
I would recommend this book a 100%. You buy it for £6.99 new or used for 1 pence on Amazon or you could buy this book and Wedding Blitz (which I also bought after I found this one so brilliant, which I'm reviewing next) in one book for £7.99 new or again used for 1 pence on Amazon. Believe me, it's funny, witty, sad, warm, interesting and a very satisfying read and really worth the 1 pence + postage.