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Spellbound - Jane Green

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Author: Jane Green / Genre: Fiction

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      04.04.2013 21:18
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      I wouldn't bother really.

      Ok, I'll put my hands up to it. I judged the book by its cover.

      I saw this book, looking all pink and sparkly in the pile that my sister had put ready for the charity shop. (Pink and sparkly, unlike the picture of this book I might add, which appears to be some strange beige colour). The edition that I have is most definitely pink! I extracted it from the pile and started reading.

      ***The plot***
      This story follows Alice and Joe, a married couple. Alice has fancied Joe since she was at school, where she was a quiet, mousy girl, who grew up to run a catering company. She met Joe and became a highly polished, blonde, well dressed, well heeled, girl about town. She has a beautiful apartment, designer shoes and frequents some of the most desirable spots in London and kicks back at her designer pad in Belgravia. This transformation, was orchestrated (and paid for!) by Joe, who wanted the perfect "trophy wife". Joe loves Alice; but the problem is, he is a serial philander. At his office, he begins an illicit affair with Josie, whose reputation precedes her. Lets just say she's a tough cookie! Unfortunately, they get caught and Joe is shipped off to a different office, taking Alice along for the ride!

      I won't say any more about the plot, as I don't want to give it away.

      ***The Characters***
      I really liked the character of Alice. She strikes me as a very naive, easily influenced, very quiet character at the beginning of the book, as we are told how she has changed over the course of the time that she has been with Joe; in order to turn into this trophy wife and girl about town, which is what Joe wanted. I really liked the way Alice developed over the course of the story. She becomes much more assertive and independent. This leads her to make decisions that you would never have expected her to make earlier on in the story, and most importantly, to stick to her guns. She becomes confident with her own actions and choices and I felt like she "grew up". A little bit, I cheered inside :-) Also, I liked Emily, she's the best mate that everyone needs. She's feisty, entertaining and isn't afraid to tell Alice her actual opinion.
      However, on the contrary, I found the character of Joe to be completely one dimensional. We're given a bit of background into why he is the way he is, but I felt this could have been developed so much more. If Joe was developed a bit further, it would add so much more to the story. To me, it seemed he was being portrayed as a typical man who certainly isn't led by his brain... I felt we didn't know much about him; as I knew more about Josie and her history, than one of the main characters of the book!

      ***Opinion***
      One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the friendship between Alice and Emily, as it really showed how the right friendships can survive anything. Also, although we are supposed to see Josie as "the other woman", at the beginning of the story, my feelings were cold towards her (if I'm honest). However, nearer the end, I really began to empathise with her. The person she became at the end of the story was so different to the way she was introduced and how she has been referred to continuously throughout the book, especially the way her tough, outer shell was broken (I won't say any more in case you read it).
      I thought this book really could have made more of the human emotion that comes with being with someone like Joe. Although we could see how hurt Alice became by his behaviour, I couldn't help but feel that (in real life) the emotion would be much more raw and you would see a much greater out pour of despair, anger, betrayal, but no. I felt the emotional was lacking and superficial in many places.

      This book is most definitely an easy-read. It didn't have any of the excitement, emotion, drama or plot that would normally keep me hooked on the book from beginning to end. It was an ok time filler, but the thing is, I can't rave about it! It's a shame really, because I thought it looked much better than that. I started reading it about 3 weeks ago and the amount of times I've picked it up and put it down certainly doesn't bode well! However, I didn't have much to do on sunday, so I sat and ploughed through to the end... which I saw coming from about half way through. But hey.

      I received this book for free, as my sister was chucking it out. It certainly hasn't made it onto my top bookshelf of "keepers" (i.e. the books that don't go to the charity shop as soon as I've finished!) It's already in the charity shop bag as I type! I couldn't have been the only person that thought this, as my sister originally found this in a charity shop, priced at £1.99, so it clearly didn't make it onto any one else's "keeper" shelf either! It is available on Amazon for £5.99. Personally, if I had spent £5.99 on this book, I would feel ripped off!

      I've given it three stars, as it's not horrific and there are some good characters.

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      08.05.2012 07:05
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      A book well worth reading.

      For a while now myself and my sister have had a book sharing agreement between ourselves, this in turn means that I usually have far more books of hers than she has of mine, with her reading almost twice I can manage a week.

      This however I have manage to almost correct, finally getting down to the bottom of the pile of books from her, with this gem being buried at the bottom, and after reading it wishing it had been at the top!

      The book in question is "Spellbound" by Jane Green.

      Alice has the perfect life, after blossoming from the proverbial ugly duckling, she has single handedly started her own upmarket catering company, has a best friend that most people would kill for and the perfect husband, the popular guy from school that she has adored since her early teens, so she should be happy....shouldn't she?

      She has constantly ignored all the rumours of her husbands infidelities, and has let herself be moulded into the perfect wife and host, changing how she acts, dresses, even down to the colour of her hair for goodness sakes.

      This has never actually stopped her husband from straying and working his way around a room like a dog on heat, with one such discretion forcing his company to transfer his job from England to New York.

      Upon their arrival for their new lives in Connecticut, Alice finds their relationship seems to have transformed back into that of a couple of newlyweds, though how long can this possibly last?

      I felt a real love for the character of Alice, even though at times I felt she was a bit of a doormat, never really questioning why she was left alone for days at a time, why her husband said how much he loved her, but constantly tried to change her appearance, and insisted that her loved her independence whilst stopping her from doing her catering business, though I suppose if faced with that situation, some women do tend to do as they are told for fear of rejection.

      And this was another point, I actually felt empathy for Alice, like she was a real person, she was so well written I came to think of her as a real being, actually feeing irate on her behalf when her husband went looking elsewhere for the next "big conquest".

      In equal measures I hated her husband Joe, portrayed as a self indulgent man, a career man who live within a world that prides themselves on being the best, wearing the best and having the best wives, whilst bonking the best bits of totty, I had real hate for him, and no sympathy when things didn't go his way.

      The book to me was split into two significant parts, the first being that of their lives in London, the constant stream of parties and art galleries, an found that whilst being really readable, was no-where near as thrilling as the second part, with that being after the move to America, and the seemingly gradual realisation of Alice, that she was not the person Joe had created, and actually she had no desire to be that person either, this to me was when the real story began.

      The book was really easy to read, and full of emotion and plenty of humour, with of course (and such is real life!) things not always going smoothly, though I did thoroughly enjoy the ride with Alice.

      Price wise this has a RRP of £7.99, but is available for less via www.amazon.co.uk.

      Thanks for reading x

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        23.12.2011 08:37
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        .

        I had this book on my book shelf for about 3 years before I read it. I always just keep buying books that I like the sound of, and sometimes I end up getting 1-2 a week and not a huge amount of time to read the books, so I can be slow to get around to reading them. I did like this book, it's not the best book i've read but still good.

        The book centres around a woman called Alice. Alice seems to have it all. Alice is in her mid 30's, has a handsome husband, a lovely house and money to spend on an expensive lifestyle. You would think that Alice would be happy, but she isn't. Alice seems to live her life like her husband wants her to. You get the impression that Alice's husband wants her to be a trophy wife. She dyes her hair Blonde as this is what Joe wants and straigtens it too. She always wears designer clothes as well. Although Alice keeps herself looking good this doesn't stop Joe from straying with other women. Alice finds out that he has started an affair at work and Joe's company find out about the affair. Alice and Joe end up moving to America to save embarrasement but this doesn't stop Joe from still cheating on Alice. He will never change and Alice just seems happy to turn a blind eye to his behaviour for some reason.

        I thought that this book was a good book to read. I felt so sorry for Alice and I felt that she could do so much better for herself. Joe is portrayed as being a creep and I don't like him. I can't see why him and Alice are together and I kept wanting Alice to see sense and leave him. Although Alice has a nice life materialistic wise, I don't think she is overly driven by these possessions so at times I couldn't see exactly why she wanted to stay with Joe, but all is revealed in the book. I felt that the story changed when Alice moved to America and I felt that she became a happier person.

        This is a good enough book but now I have read it I don't feel the need to read it again but it is good and if you are a fan of this author then it is a good book by her.

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        20.06.2010 19:50
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        idea beach read

        I am a huge fan of Jane Green books, with bookends being my favourite. When I was in the library I saw Spellbound which is a book of Jane Green which I have yet to read and obviously I couldn't walk over it.


        The main character in Spellbound is Alice who you instantly warm to in Green's clever way of introducing you to her characters. Alice is married to Joe who I instantly disliked he moulds Alice into his ideal trophy wife encouraging her to dye her hair blonde and lose weight and wear designer clothes. They lead a very executive life, invited to every high profile dinner, dance or party.


        Anyone may think Alice should be the happiest woman alive with this kind of lifestyle and a gorgeous husband but truth is this isn't the real Alice. The real Alice dreams of a nice house in the country tending to her garden a very low key life.


        Joe is a serial womaniser and often goes home with a different woman after ring Alice to inform her he will not be home as he has to work late yet again. Alice has her suspicions but never talks about it to Joe.

        Alice and Joe have a life change after Joe is caught with another woman by his boss and is given his only option.... to move to New York.

        It is whilst in New York that Alice starts to feel herself as they manage to have to homes one in Manhattan for Joe to be close to work and one little cottage in Connecticut which Alice has always dreamed of. Thing is with Alice feeling more herself and building the life she has always wanted in Connecticut, things get a bit rocky for the couple. Will their relationship be able to survive?


        This book was defiantly upto the high standard of Jane Green's better books. I found the first chapter a bit of a struggle but once past this the story flowed nicely. I didn't feel that there were any predictable parts to this book, there were constant twists happening. Jane describes the two main characters well letting you warm to Alice and wanting her to finally be herself and be happy and also describing Joe making you feel slightly cold towards him like you usually do with womanisers.

        I love the way the ending of the book takes each of the characters from the book and tells you how they ended up later in life. I have always wondered after reading books what would actually happen to the characters and this answered all my questions. In my opinion an outstanding ending.

        I would recommend this to anyone who has read and enjoyed Jane Green's book as I personally think this is up there with her 3 best books.

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          12.09.2008 19:09
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          good book for when your on holiday or don't want to concentrate to hard

          I read this book while on holiday with my friend and as a beach read its fantastic light-hearted easy to read. The characters are engaging and not as two dimensional as in most girly books I've read. The story follows Alice (at heart a country girl) married to Joe (a philandering workaholic). Appearing happily married it soon becomes apparent to the reader that this is not the case. Joe has moulded Alice into his perfect trophy wife, slim, blonde hair and only interested in pleasing her husband.
          However due to a turn of events they are forced to move to America and very soon things begin to change and as Alice rediscovers herself and begins to live the life she always wanted her marriage begins to look for from secure.
          Overall the plot is engaging if very predictable, however for most of the book the author seems to be dragging the story out but then wraps up the ending in about two pages, very disappointing.
          A good easy read but not one of my favourite books

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            01.03.2006 19:02
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            great characters, gripping plot

            I was really pleased when my dad gave me a copy of Spellbound by Jane Green, as I had already read two of her books, Mr Maybe and Straight Talking, and thought both were excellent.
            When I read the blurb on the back of the book, I wasn’t entirely sure this was going to be my sort of thing. I saw the word Connecticut and thought ‘Oh no’ because I am not a huge fan of novels set in America, probably, I think, because stories set in the UK are easier to identify with. I needn’t have worried though, this book turned out to be up to Jane Green’s usual high standard of writing.

            This is the story of Alice Chambers. To the outside world, Alice is blissfully happy, and why shouldn’t she be? Married to successful businessman Joe, she is the picture of elegance, with her beautifully highlighted hair, expensive manicures and a wardrobe over-spilling with the latest designer clothes. But behind her twinkling smile, Alice is beginning to feel deeply troubled.

            More and more frequently, Alice seems to be going to bed alone waiting up until the early hours for her husband to come home from ‘meetings’. Of course she suspects that her husband is being unfaithful, but he wouldn’t really do that would he?

            Unfortunately, We, the reader, know that he would. And after Joe is caught having sex with new girl Josie in an unlocked office, his management force him to transfer from London to New York. When Joe breaks the news of their move to Alice (leaving out the reason why), she is not best pleased. Her life is in London, and that includes Emily, who has been her best friend since Childhood. Alice, is finally persuaded when Joe offers to buy a second home in the Connecticut countryside.

            Once in Connecticut, Alice is in her element. She was never one for the glamorous city life, and only went along with that to please Joe. Now in her own country pad she is pleased as punch, but now they have a new start in the USA, will Joe be able to stay faithful??
            Well, I don’t want to spoil too much, so you will have to read the book to find out! And just to let you know I haven’t said anything you will not find out from the blurb above.

            I thought this book was really good, and like I said earlier, up to Jane Green’s high standards. Once I got going with this, I found it hard to put down. The character of Alice is believable and I think it is easy to relate to her, whether you have been in that situation or not. There are a few really good twists towards the end of the book – a couple that I really didn’t see coming, but were an absolute stroke of genius by the author! I would definitely recommend this book, this is chick lit at it’s best!

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              01.11.2004 09:59
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              Alice is 35 and has it all. A handsome husband Joe, a beautiful house in Belgravia and designer clothes Sarah Jessica Parker would be proud to wear. So - she *should* be happy. But she isn’t. She rolls around in her luxury house all day while hubby is out to work.

              Joe is a class one king rat in the womaniser department. He’s moulded Alice into what he wants her to look like – she straightens her curly hair, she dyes it blonde because he doesn't like it mousey and her expensive clothes are just an armour - she prefers jeans. He starts an affair with a work colleague and is found out by the company. To avoid further embarrassment they transfer him to another department – in the USA. Alice turns a blind eye to his ‘other’ activities because she’s just grateful he’s still with her. Joe, however, goes after anything in a skirt and is soon chasing the American women.

              OK, so this isn’t great literature. I have to say I’m pretty sure I’ve read all of Jane Green’s books. These aren’t gripping novels, but if you like what is loosely termed ‘chick lit’ then this one won’t disappoint you.

              * My thoughts *

              This book is completely readable. For example, in one train journey, of an hour and a half, I managed to read 120 pages. By the time the evening ended I’d read 180 pages. I zoomed through it because once I found out Alice was going to America, I wanted to find out what would happen to her. She’s the central character and you want her to find happiness!

              Joe is awful. He’s one of those slick guys that think they can charm any woman into bed, and the frustrating thing about this is that Alice doesn’t even know what he’s like. She has an idea he’s running around on her but isn’t brave enough to confront him about it, especially as he always has a ready answer for her and just makes her feel guilty for even thinking he could do that to her. He covers his tracks well. This is one of the annoying parts of the book, but the way it’s written, you just want to read on and find out if he gets his comeuppance! The reader wants Alice to stop pretending to herself that everything's fine.

              I also really liked the fact that the second half of the book was set in Connecticut. Alice loves to do work on her new home while Joe is in the city working. She becomes a real homebody which is completely different to her ‘lady that lunches’ persona in London. Here she can slob about in her Gap sweatshirt and jeans without having to dress up in her little black dress and Jimmy Choo shoes! She makes friends, potters about in her garden, starts baking and loves to walk her dog.

              Alice starts to develop as a person, no longer the ‘little wife’ and accessory to Joe. She befriends the neighbours and joins clubs and Joe’s eye is soon wandering again. ‘Stay at home Alice’ has got herself a life and he doesn't like it! When Alice's best friend, Emily, comes over from England, things start to change for Alice and Joe and their marriage is brought into question.

              As I got the large paperback version (RRP £10.00) the writing was large and spaced out very well on the page. This made it a very easy read, especially with the breaks in between chapters. Oh and if you think I paid £10 for it, are you crazy?! You know I get my bargains, this particular one courtesy of Oxfam for £1.75 if I remember correctly. KM was very happy when she found this as it was a fairly recent book, not yet out in the smaller and cheaper version.

              The cover, as I mentioned, is girly pink with a fuschia and peach sphere in the centre of the cover and ‘Spellbound’ written in white. At the top of the cover it says ‘What would you do to make your dreams come true?’.

              * Current prices *

              The paperback was published on 4 December 2003 with a bronze front cover.

              Always worth checking out charity shops, Amazon and Ebay for cheap copies.

              4 stars from me. I don’t want to give it 5 because it’s a light read and not as good as some I’ve read that are similar. However, I read it in four days so I guess I must’ve liked it (or maybe it was the fact it was quite heavy and I got fed up with carrying it to and from work)!

              An enjoyable holiday read, light and non taxing to the brain. But hey, sometimes we like those! Enjoy.

              440 pages, published by Penguin.

              Thanks for reading.

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                16.04.2004 19:08
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                Jane Green, best selling author of Straight Talking, Jemima J, Bookends, Babyville and Mr Maybe, introduces us to Alice, a lady who has it all, a plush home in the exclusive Belgravia area of London, all the designer clothing a lady could want or need, as many visits to celebrity hair and beauty salons as us working class people can only dream about, in fact I would say she leads quite a celebrity lifestyle, attending all the major "happening" functions in and around London. Alice and her husband Joe are very well known and accepted within the celebrity circle and whilst some woman would be envious of her lifestyle, Alice herself often wishes for the simple things in life, like spending more time with her husband, long walks in the country wearing her longed for ?normal? clothes hand in hand with Joe, breathing in the fresh, clean country air and meeting the locals who would be somewhat different to the pretentious people she is often surrounded by. Now Joe has very different ideas, when he met Alice, he successfully moulded her into his ideal woman, convincing her to replace her natural mousy curly hair with straight blonde highlighted hair, gone were her comfortable clothing and in came designer outfits with the Jimmy Choos kitten heels to match, her make up and nails always articulate, in fact from what the book portrays, she is worthy of a modelling contract and often Alice and Joe have sat for spreads within the Tatler magazine. Now you would think with such a beautiful caring wife on his arm along with plenty of money in the bank, that life would be pretty much near to perfect, well you would be wrong, Joe?s problem is he seems to be addicted to the thrill of sex, he doesn?t care much for the intimacy side, as soon as his other interests become needy, he is gone. Joe manages to cover up his indiscretions rather well by convincing Alice he is working late or with clients m
                ost of the time, of course always on the verge of a big deal, this leaves Alice on her own rattling about her big old house. But when Joe is caught in a comprising situation with his work colleague, he is forced to transfer to his New York office for a period of three years; this transfer will change everything, as they know it and nothing will ever be the same again. Will they live happily every after? Will Joe stay faithful? Will Alice come to her senses? How do they handle New York lifestyle? Well I?m not going to tell you, I?m afraid you will just have to read the book, which I do recommend, it?s completely believable, flowing very well throughout, the conversation was very easy to relate to but I found the ending a bit rushed although it did suggest a follow up novel is in the offing. I have not had the pleasure of reading any of Jane Green?s other books but I intend to read more of her stuff now as I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I found myself laughing, crying and even angry at the way Joe treated Alice, in fact I felt as if Alice was one of my friends and I so wanted to give her a hug, she is the kind of person everyone needs in their life, whether it be as a friend or a lover, she?s loving, considerate, homely and generous with her love and her wealth, in fact everything that Joe is not, however Alice is not without faults of her own but we all make mistakes and that is what makes this book so believable. I was gripped throughout all 440 pages, a most enjoyable and entertaining read, published by Penguin, available in most book stores for £6.99, but quite often WH Smith or Borders do 3 for 2 offers so look out or check out ebay for any 2nd hand copies. Thanks for reading, take care, Heather :o)

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                  16.04.2004 06:24
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                  I know we are told not to, but I am not ashamed to say I *do* judge books but their covers, so naturally when I saw this lively pink book in my sister?s room I was convinced I would enjoy reading it. The front cover is splashed with the author?s name in large letters and ?Spellbound? contained within a mystical pink explosion surrounded by a soft lemon hue. The top edge of the cover asks, ?What would you do to make your dreams come true?? Intrigued? Read on?. PLOT SYNOPSIS The prologue bodes well; it maintains my interest and sets the scene beautifully. It tells of an author, Rachel Danbury, who lived in a house in a small town called Highfield in Connecticut, USA. It explains how she wrote a novel titled ?The Winding Road? which, although referred to as a novel, was an autobiography thinly (and unconvincingly) disguised as a novel and subsequently resulted in the upset of the whole town and her fleeing to live elsewhere. The inclusion of this is due to Alice owning her house in the present day, but what relevance do the author and the history of the house have to Alice? Alice is a shy mousey haired girl who acquired the nickname ?wallpaper? at school for her preference of blending into the background in social situations. Never in her wildest dreams did she fantasise about attracting the attention, let alone hand in marriage, of rich, handsome, successful Joe Mitchell who she has had a crush on since school. Joe, on the other hand, is charm personified. You need not read much of the book to realise Joe could have almost any woman he desired, for he seems to cast a spell upon them that no lady in her right mind can resist; and girls, don?t be surprised if you find yourself wanting a piece of him! Despite this, the novel beg
                  ins with the planning of their wedding (or rather, Joe?s wedding). Alice is so mesmerised by the fact she?s marrying Joe Mitchell that she is almost oblivious to the controlling nature of their relationship ? from the location to the season of the year, the hairstyle and the dress, from day one absolutely everything is Joe?s decision. Although not thrilled with the prospect of an ostentatious city wedding, daydreaming more about a small country church and flowers in her hair, Alice feigns enthusiasm because after all, Joe is paying for the lot, so who is she to argue? Emily, Alice?s best friend since school plays a large part in this novel. She is a loving, loyal friend to Alice but flits from one man to another, barely able to sustain a relationship beyond the seven day mark. However, this all changes when Harry, the instructor at her dog training class enters her life. Progressing through the book it rapidly becomes more apparent that Joe seeks neither a soul mate nor a deep meaningful friendship through marriage but a beautifully presented trophy wife, perfect for escorting to business functions, private parties, posh restaurants and the like. Apart from this it is abundantly clear that Joe needs stability at home, a loving partner to return to after satisfying his lustful needs; these lustful needs however, being his downfall. Alice, although painfully aware of this, turns a blind eye, choosing to dismiss things she has witnessed or been told by others as just ?harmless flirting.? Emily broaches the inevitable question, ?just why exactly DID you marry Joe?? leaving Alice dumbstruck, eventually uttering ?Joe loves me. And I love him.? Despite hating almost every minute of her life in London she continues the façade, the designer clothes, the 6-hour-a-time highlights at the hairdressers and the fake people at the fak
                  e parties convincing herself that one day Joe will ease off it all and dedicate more time to her. One fateful day, a disastrous mistake on Joe?s part forces their relocation to America. Although initially horrified at the upheaval, Alice submits by way of Joe promising her a home in the country to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for the weekends. It is now that the spellbound country house really sets events into motion, for it would have been almost impossible to predict what happens next. Alice begins on a trail of self-discovery, and although there is a bumpy ride ahead, happiness eventually prevails. MY THOUGHTS I can?t say too much for fear of ruining the plot! BUT?.considering this book is 440 pages long and I read it in less than two days I think that speaks volumes. From the moment I picked it up I was hooked, because unlike many other books I have read I can actually relate to parts of the character?s lives and the thoughts that go on in their heads. I like the fact that every character has numerous insecurities, including the super-confident-on-the-exterior glamorous mistresses that take Joe?s interest. Even one of Joe?s ice queen mistresses has insecurities, throwing herself into work for fear of being alone. It is interesting to see her withhold her feelings for Joe, saying things she doesn?t mean and wanting to play ?hard to get? but finding it increasingly hard to resist his charms. Unlike many other authors, Jane Green doesn?t make a complete ?baddy? out of Joe or any of the mistresses who we should really grow to hate. As mentioned above, every character has their flaws, and Joe?s flaws were inherited from his parents. His father was a serial adulterer and his mother worshipped the ground he walked on a *little* too mu
                  ch resulting in his super confidence. As you learn more about Joe you soon realise that he is hopelessly hooked on sex - and it seems that he actually can?t help it. It never appears to be his intention to hurt Alice or get caught; it is merely the thrill and the excitement of extra-marital sex that he craves. Never has the phrase ?have your cake and eat it? been more apt. Much as I hate to admit it, I do develop a significant amount of sympathy for one of Joe?s mistresses. However much she tried not to want him, she was helplessly under his spell. I dislike the way that Joe treats Alice but come to realise that everything happens for a reason, and when events reach a climax Alice?s choice is the ultimate deciding factor in what will result of her life. CONCLUSION I really enjoyed this book as it made me feel optimistic about my own life ? as I said above, it makes you believe that things happen for a reason and eventually things will work out for you. The ending is slightly cheesy for my liking, but in all honesty I wouldn?t have had it any other way ? in fact I take that back, as it is laced with reality so I accept that it is not totally fairytale fantasy material. I enjoyed the colloquial style of writing as it saves you reaching for the dictionary every two seconds but perhaps this may be too informal for others. The book certainly makes you think about the life of the rich and glamorous and makes you wonder if they really are as happy as their perma-smiles would suggest. I liked how fast paced the novel was, not describing every single detail of each situation, but just the parts that really mattered. I also liked that the characters were multi dimensional and realistic without an excess of background into their individual lives. Again, only the rel
                  evant amount of detail. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick feel good read, but it's probably not something you would read more than once as I don't feel there would have been anything you missed the first time round. STOCKISTS Any large book store with a fiction section should stock this. Although my sister?s one says £9.99 in the inside cover Amazon have the paperback for sale for £5.59 (or 25p used?!)  carly_pussycat - dooyoo UK ©

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                    08.04.2004 01:30
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                    Spellbound is Jane Green?s latest novel, telling the story of Alice, who lives in a beautiful interior-designed house, has sleek, highlighted hair, a wardrobe of designer clothes and a gorgeous, rich husband. On the surface, she is calm, serene and a picture of loveliness, who has everything she could ever want, but the cracks are beginning to show. Alice isn?t a naturally elegant person. She would much rather be in jeans and a jumper, on a farm, surrounded by ducks and sheep. She feels like a fake in her Gucci clothes and Jimmy Choo kitten heels, but that?s what her husband wants, and what Joe wants, Joe gets. Which includes women. Alice buries her head in the sand and refuses to acknowledge his infidelities, but how long can she ignore the facts? Joe?s cheating forces him to accept a transfer to New York. Initially, Alice is upset, but begins to think this is a fresh start. When they find a country house in Connecticut, she is even happier. For a while, they seem to be getting their marriage back on track, but then the unexplained absences and ?heavy workloads? begin again? does she stick out her marriage? After all, she still loves Joe. Or should she leave with her dignity intact, but her heart broken? Jane Green has written a few books now, and they are pretty much hit and miss. This is one of the better ones. She has a conversational, friendly style that flows well, and very descriptive, so you feel you know the characters fairly well, but she never digs deeper into their past, so you don?t really know them as well as you could. The storyline is believable and convincing (unlike the plot of Jemima J, one of her other books), and you can genuinely relate to the character of Alice, as anyone could be put in that situation. She begins to feel like a close friend, and you will her to make the right decision. It is a light-hearted drama really ? there?s not a lot of comedy in here. It isn?t too taxing, and would be perfe
                    ct as a holiday read. It is very engaging though ? once you start reading, it?s hard to put it down! You are drawn into the story, and I found myself reading well into 4am one night. What I like about this is that the main character isn?t perfect. In too many books, the heroine is a saintly figure, but Alice makes mistakes, gets jealous, etc, like the rest of us, which makes her seem more normal than the holier-than-thou heroines of other books! The ending though, is a bit disappointing. It?s very quick, as though she has written it in a rush to tie up all the lose ends, and it could have been done better. Also, it was predictable and you could tell straightaway what would happen at the end when you?re half-way through the book! It?s in hard-back and is also quite a thick book, with about 450 pages. It has a bright pink cover as well, with colourful writing, which was what initially drew me to the book! I?d recommend this to anyone who wants a light-hearted, engaging read. If you?re a bit snobby with your reading material, then maybe not! It?s what you?d call chick/clit lit, but I love it, and I?m not ashamed of that fact! It cost me £10 in hardback, although you can get it cheaper now at about £5 from Amazon, I think, and is published by Penguin.

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                  • Product Details

                    Alice knows she should be happy. After all, she has a handsome husband, a beautiful apartment and membership to all the most exclusive clubs in London. But none of these trappings can make up for the infidelity and lack of love in her marriage and Alice eventually begins to realise that she is more than a trophy wife.